NYPA Announces Progress on Plan to Improve Electric Reliability in Tri-Lakes Region

Connie Cullen

May 17, 2005


ALBANY—The New York Power Authority (NYPA) today announced progress on initial plans for the installation of a new power line aimed at improving electrical service in the Tri-Lakes Region of Lake Placid, Saranac Lake, Tupper Lake and the surrounding communities.         

Under an agreement, unveiled last November by Governor George E. Pataki, the Villages of Lake Placid and Tupper Lake, NYPA and Niagara Mohawk, a National Grid Company, are working together to improve the regional electric system and reliability problems caused by winter weather and increased electric use. While NYPA will obtain the permits for the line, Niagara Mohawk will build it. It is expected the new 46 kV (kilovolt) power line will be in service by 2008, at an estimated cost of $29 million. 

Within the next few months, NYPA and Niagara Mohawk plan to submit a preferred and alternate route of where to locate the power line in applications to the Adirondack Park Agency, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  These routes will take into consideration information gathered from public comments, regulatory agency consultations, and environmental and engineering studies. 

The study route corridors currently being considered are:

From near the Stark Reservoir in Parishville traveling south along State Route 56 until reaching forest preserve land.  It would then travel west, and circle south around that land, before heading east to again follow State Route 56 south to Sevey Corners in Colton.  It then travels east along State Route 3 to connect with an existing substation in Piercefield. An existing supply line from the Piercefield substation would bring the power to the Tupper Lake substation.

From Newton Falls in Clifton heading east, through Cook Corners east to State Route 3 to Sevey Corners in Colton.  It would then continue east along State Route 3 to connect with an existing substation in Piercefield. An existing supply line from the Piercefield substation would bring the power to the Tupper Lake substation.

Ultimately one route will be selected and one line built, but the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) requires that NYPA evaluate more than one route. 

NYPA is currently seeking public input on the possible study route corridors. To reach a wide public audience and encourage input, a map of the study routes will soon be made available at town and village municipal buildings. Information will be available shortly on the web at (at the Home Page, click on the Tri-Lakes Electric Reliability Project link) which will also give the public the ability to submit questions and comments via email.

NYPA will also hold a meeting, with day and evening sessions, in June to give the public an opportunity to identify issues of importance concerning the project. Public comments will also assist in the development of the Environmental Impact Statement, which is being prepared under SEQRA. The meeting date and location will be announced soon.

Property owners along the study routes are currently being contacted to seek permission to enter their property to gather information important to the development of the study routes.  Federal, state and municipal officials are also being briefed on the study routes.

NYPA has also begun energy efficiency audits to encourage conservation through the use of energy efficient methods and products at a targeted sampling of municipal offices, businesses and residences in Lake Placid and Tupper Lake.  NYPA supplies the electricity used by the municipal electric systems serving Lake Placid and Tupper Lake.

The audits will gather information on these facilities and their typical energy use to help identify a broader range of customers well-suited to participate in energy efficiency programs.  These audits will also serve as the basis for developing cost-effective, energy-saving recommendations and measures for these municipal systems customers to implement. Recommendations are expected to be produced by the end of June.

Statewide, NYPA has completed 1,400 energy-efficiency projects involving more than 2,200 government office buildings, public housing, schools, colleges and universities.  These projects have resulted in $89 million in annual energy cost savings, 845,365 megawatt-hours of electricity conserved each year and reduced annual emission of 658,958 tons of greenhouse gases.  The energy-efficiency measures include high-efficiency lighting, motors, motor drives, heating, ventilating and air conditioning, boilers and building shell measures and also the use of clean energy technologies such as fuel cells, microturbines and solar energy projects.

NYPA plans to fund a feasibility study to explore the possibility of a biomass generating facility at Tupper Lake.  NYPA will address the feasibility of generating electricity by using wood from a working Adirondack forest.  If feasible, this sustainable energy source will help protect North Country jobs, improve the environment and keep our energy dollars at home.

For information, or to submit ideas, questions or suggestions for the Tri-Lakes Electric Reliability Project, please contact, Steve Ramsey, Regional Manager-Community Relations, NYPA, at 1-800-724-0309 or