The Central East Energy Connect (CEEC) transmission project, an upgrade of 93-mile (150km) transmission lines between Oneida County and Albany County, has been completed.

The $600m transmission project, which started construction in February 2021, involved the installation of more than 650 new steel monopoles, between Marcy and New Scotland.

It also included the construction of two new advanced transmission substations at Rotterdam and Princetown in Schenectady County, to enhance power transfer capacity.

CEEC is a joint project by LS Power Grid New York, previously known as North America Transmission and the New York Power Authority (NYPA), New York’s public corporation.

The upgraded transmission corridor can now transfer around five times the volume of electricity than the old lines, which is adequate to power around 2 million homes.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul said: “Upgrading New York’s transmission system is key to building our clean energy future. This upgraded line from Marcy to Albany was built on time and within budget and will enable more renewables to power New York’s homes and businesses. New Yorkers will benefit from this investment in the state’s power grid today and into the future.”

LS Power CEO Paul Segal said: “With the energization of the CEEC transmission facility, LS Power Grid New York will help expand and strengthen New York state’s electric grid and meet the state’s clean energy goals.

“Moreover, the project’s success underscores why a transparent and competitive process to build transmission infrastructure is so important – as it delivers savings to consumers.

In this case, LS Power Grid New York provided cost containment provisions that reduced costs for New York state electricity ratepayers by more than $200m over the life of the project.”

The CEEC project involved replacing existing lines and age-old wooden poles with advanced steel monopoles in existing utility rights-of-way and building two new substations.

It replaced around 1,250 ageing transmission structures with more than 650 monopoles, strengthening the transmission line against extreme weather conditions.

The project upgraded the infrastructure along an existing transmission line in the Mohawk Valley and Capital Region, which is a heavily congested corridor for energy transmission.

CEEC project enabled the flow of more renewable energy across the state and helped New York meet its clean energy goals under the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.

The goals include achieving a zero-emissions electricity sector by 2040, 70% renewable energy generation by 2030, and economy-wide carbon neutrality.

Furthermore, the project is expected to reduce around $200m in costs to electricity consumers in New York State, according to the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO).

New York Power Authority president and CEO Justin Driscoll said: “The Central East Energy Connect corridor was plagued by congestion and outdated infrastructure-related problems for decades.

“Now with the state’s prioritization of clean energy infrastructure investment, a more streamlined bidding process, and the industry’s synergy in working together to upgrade our transmission system, we are making great progress in modernizing our grid.”

New York Independent System Operator President and CEO Rich Dewey said, “This investment will improve grid resiliency, move more clean energy as we electrify the economy, attract economic development, and advance the state’s climate goals.”