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NYPA approves 2020 budget investing in energy efficiency, digitalization

The New York Power Authority board approved a budget for fiscal 2020 that encourages investments in energy efficiency projects, while moving toward becoming an "all-digital" public utility.

The spending plan, effective Jan. 1, will enable the NYPA to fulfill Gov. Andrew Cuomo's goals under New York's Green New Deal, which envisions achieving a carbon neutral electricity supply in the state by 2040.

The 2020 budget calls for $519.0 million in operations and maintenance, up 2.3% year over year, and $537.3 million in capital spending, according to a Dec. 11 news release.

The board also approved a four-year, $1.2 billion financial plan that includes the NYPA's funding for several projects while limiting cost increases for customers.

Under the plan, the NYPA plans to replace the Moses-Adirondack transmission line in the North Country, with the $484 million project scheduled for completion in 2023.

The NYPA also plans to upgrade the AC transmission line along with LS Power Grid New York to relieve bottlenecks, and to ramp up digital communications infrastructure to improve operational decisions.

The utility will also deploy over 100,000 sensors throughout the NYPA network to obtain real-time information about power and transmission asset performance, continue to modernize its transmission assets, and to increase adoption of electric vehicles through the EVolve NY program.

Additionally, the board approved a seven-year, $1.5 billion plan to increase funding for energy efficiency projects. A $257.2 million portion of that funding has been allocated to energy services in 2020.

"By digitizing our assets we will have a greater awareness of how they operate in real time and can diagnose and fix potential problems before they can affect electricity production," NYPA President and CEO Gil Quiniones, said in the news release.

Another $91.0 million was approved as the operations and maintenance budget for the New York State Canal Corp. which became a subsidiary of NYPA in 2017.