By Christian Roselund

On 11 August 2022, New York regulators approved the upgrade of a major transmission line along the northern edge of the state that could enable the integration of more wind and solar. On the same day they approved a transmission line for a 291-megawatt wind farm and five wind & solar facilities totaling 517 megawatts.

The Smart Path Connect runs across 100 miles of Canadian border and replace a 70-year-old transmission line with a combination of 230-kilovolt and 345 kilovolt lines, as well as repair or replacement of 10 substations along the route. This will complete a larger line that connects Northern New York with the central and western parts of the state, and the project’s backers say that it will further allow the integration of more new wind and solar projects as well as connecting to legacy hydroelectric dams. The state has identified this line as a priority project to help it meet its target of getting 70% of its electricity from renewable energy by 2030. New York regulators have also approved a transmission connection for Invenergy’s 290.7-megawatt Canisteo wind farm in Jasper, New York, along with compliance filings for five other wind and solar projects.

New York is one of only six states that mandate that utilities procure 70% or more of their electricity from renewable sources by 2030, or for utilities to reduce emissions by 70% or more by 2030. And while the state gets around 25% of its electricity from hydroelectric power, it has been slower to deploy wind and solar in proportion to its electric demand. In 2020, solar and wind only represented around 6% of in-state generation. New York has a massive pipeline of contracted renewable energy, but around 30% of this is offshore wind, and the state has yet to install a single offshore wind turbine.

News coverage: New York regulators OK key National Grid and Invenergy transmission projects, reject NextEra solar farm (UtilityDive)