N.Y. Power Authority Approves Three Multi-million Dollar Contract Awards to Two NY Firms in Support of NYPA's Modernization of its Transmission Facilities

Work by Albany and Ontario County Firms Will Advance Governor Cuomo’s ‘Energy Highway’ Blueprint

Maura Balaban
(914) 390-8171

May 22, 2014


WHITE PLAINS—The New York Power Authority’s (NYPA) Board of Trustees on Thursday approved the award of three competitively-bid contracts totaling more than $21 million to two New York firms in support of upgrades related to NYPA’s Transmission Life Extension and Modernization (TLEM) Program, a multi-year effort to improve the reliability of its transmission facilities in various parts of the state.

The NYPA trustees awarded two contracts, for $16 million, to O’Connell Electric Company of Victor, Ontario County, and an up to $5 million contract to Greenman-Pedersen, Inc., of Albany. The contracts will support TLEM projects underway at or near NYPA’s St. Lawrence-Franklin D. Roosevelt Hydroelectric Power Plant in Massena, N.Y.

“Today’s contract awards support the modernization and good stewardship of NYPA transmission facilities and are part of the public- and private-sector partnerships being pursued under Governor Cuomo’s Energy Highway Blueprint for bringing about a more reliable, economic and versatile electric power grid,” said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and chief executive officer. “These partnerships will help to underpin jobs at New York enterprises supporting the improvements while advancing initiatives that are imperative to a modernized electric power system for New York residents and businesses.”

"Improving the reliability and efficiency of our transmission system means better electricity service for residents and businesses,” said Senator George Maziarz, chairman of the Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee. “Whenever we can make these kinds of upgrades it's a good thing, and I'm glad to see respected upstate New York-based companies being hired to do the work.”

“Upgrading the state’s energy infrastructure is of the utmost importance,” said Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, chair of the New York State Assembly Committee on Energy. “These awards will help improve system reliability while providing opportunities to New York businesses- certainly a win-win for our state.”

NYPA owns and operates approximately one-third of the state’s high-voltage power lines, and has transmission assets and facilities that date back to the 1950s and 1960s when it built its major hydroelectric power plants on the St. Lawrence and Niagara rivers. The $726-million transmission LEM, launched in December 2012, is being implemented to support Governor Cuomo’s New York Energy Highway Blueprint and incorporates the latest technologies to harden and strengthen the transmission system.

The NYPA TLEM initiative, which extends to 2025, encompasses transmission assets in Central, Western and Northern regions of the state and constitutes projects that include refurbishing transmission line structures and upgrading power plant switchyards and substations. Other dimensions of the overall initiative include investing in smart-grid technologies for maximizing the efficiency of transmission facilities and for achieving greater “situational awareness” of their performance in variable conditions.

  • A $5.2-million contract with O’Connell Electric, for site preparation work related to the installation of new autotransformers—each 38 feet tall, 24 feet wide—at St. Lawrence-FDR’s Massena Substation, to substitute for existing equipment that needs to be replaced. (The autotransformers control power voltage);

  • A $10.8 million contract with O’Connell, for the demolition of existing transmission equipment and installation of 16 power circuit breakers and one capacitor bank at the Robert Moses Switchyard in Massena (A capacitor is a device that helps ensure consistent power flow on transmission lines); and

  • An up-to $5 million contract with Greenman-Pederson, for inspection and consulting services for the application of paints and other coatings to protect NYPA transmission towers in Northern, Central and Western New York from weathering and corrosion and to extend their service life.

Governor Cuomo’s Energy Highway Blueprint, introduced in 2012, is a cornerstone of his energy policies to ensure the state’s power grid is the most advanced in the nation and to promote increased business investment in New York. Today’s action by the NYPA trustees is the latest measure helping to secure New York’s role as a leader in the energy industry and deliver on the Governor’s commitment to transform the energy industry into a more resilient, clean, cost-effective and dynamic system.

About NYPA:

■ The New York Power Authority has been designated as the lead entity via Executive Order 88 by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to form a central management and implementation plan to carry out his Build Smart NY plan to reduce energy use by state facilities by 20 percent by 2020. ■ NYPA uses no tax money or state credit. It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity.■ NYPA is the nation's largest state public power organization, through the operation of its 16 generating facilities in various parts of New York State, participation in a unique public/private partnership to contract for power from a clean generating plant in Queens, and its operation of more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines. ■ More than 70 percent of the electricity NYPA produces is clean renewable hydropower. Its lower-cost power production and electricity purchases support hundreds of thousands of jobs throughout the state.■ For more information visit www.nypa.gov and follow us on Twitter @NYPAenergy, Facebook, Instagram, Wordpress, and LinkedIn.