Public Service Commission Press Release

PSC Greenlights 1st Phase of NYPA’s Smart Path Transmission Project

For Immediate Release: 02/06/20

John B. Rhodes, Chair


John Chirlin | | (518) 474-7080

Upgraded Transmission Lines Will Improve the Upstate Grid’s Reliability, Resilience and Efficiency

$484 Million Project Expected to Create Hundreds of Upstate Jobs

Enhanced Transmission Capability Will Provide the Backbone to Support Renewable Energy Development in New York State

ALBANY — The New York State Public Service Commission (Commission) today approved the first phase of the New York Power Authority’s (NYPA) plan to rebuild its 86-mile long Moses-Adirondack 1 and 2 transmission lines that run from St. Lawrence County to Lewis County and upgrading its Moses switchyard in the Town of Massena, St. Lawrence County and the Adirondack substation in the Town of Croghan, Lewis County. The transmission line, known as the Moses-Adirondack Smart Path Reliability Project, is designed to provide a more robust, resilient and reliable electric system in Upstate New York.

“Governor Cuomo has set New York on course to achieving 70 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030, and zero greenhouse gas emissions from the electricity sector by 2040,” said Commission Chair John B. Rhodes. “Projects such as the Smart Path project enhance and improve transmission across the State and are absolutely vital to make the renewable energy generated upstate accessible for the entire State.”

The Moses-Adirondack line, portions of which were constructed in 1942, starts in the Town of Massena and carries electricity from the St. Lawrence-FDR Power Project to the Adirondack substation in the Town of Croghan. These North Country transmission lines connect economical, clean and renewable energy into the statewide power system, including low-cost hydropower from NYPA’s St. Lawrence-Franklin D. Roosevelt Power Project as well as power from newly constructed renewable energy sources. During construction, the $484 million project is expected to support hundreds of jobs.

The Smart Path project will be built in two phases. Today’s Commission approval will allow NYPA to begin construction of the first phase of the project this spring. The first phase includes replacing 78 miles of the existing wooden structures and replacing them with steel monopoles. The new steel monopoles require significantly less space than the wooden poles. Additionally, the distance between poles is extended, further minimizing the use of space on the right-of-way and greatly reducing the number of poles on the landscape. The rebuilt lines will be taller but stronger, less susceptible to failure and able to better withstand inclement weather, such as ice storms.

The second phase will involve rebuilding eight miles of existing steel structures coming out of the Robert-Moses Switchyard in the Town of Massena and rebuilding 0.4 miles of steel structures into the Adirondack substation with steel monopoles and constructing a new 345 kV switchyard at the Robert Moses switchyard and the Adirondack substation. In its entirety, the Smart Path Reliability Project traverses through 12 towns from north to south: Massena, Louisville, Norfolk, Madrid, Potsdam, Canton, Russell, Hermon, Edwards and Pitcarin in St. Lawrence County, and Diana and Croghan in Lewis County.

During construction, electrical customers will continue to receive service because the electric distribution systems will receive service from other transmission lines. The rebuilt transmission lines for the first phase are expected to be completed in 2023.

This project is necessary to rebuild facilities that are well past their serviceable lifetime to make them more resilient and reduce maintenance costs. The rebuilt transmission lines are needed to deliver electricity, including carbon-free hydroelectric power, from Northern New York to the rest of the State; to re-energize the bulk electric system as a component of the New York Independent System Operator’s System Restoration Plan in the event of a future widespread outage; and to provide increased capacity for future expansion to meet New York’s clean energy targets.

Today’s decision may be obtained by going to the Commission Documents section of the Commission’s Web site at and entering Case Number 18-T-0207 in the input box labeled "Search for Case/Matter Number". Many libraries offer free Internet access. Commission documents may also be obtained from the Commission’s Files Office, 14th floor, Three Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY 12223 (518-474-2500). If you have difficulty understanding English, please call us at 1-800-342-3377 for free language assistance services regarding this press release.