New York, USA: Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced that the New York Power Authority is launching a 15-year modernization and digitization program to significantly extend the operating life of the Niagara Power Project.
The life extension and modernization program, called "Next Generation Niagara," centers on the 2,525-MW Robert Moses Niagara Power Plant, the Niagara project's main generating facility.
The New York Power Authority plans to invest $1.1 billion in the project. Next Generation Niagara will help realize Governor Cuomo's aggressive clean energy goals for transitioning the state to 100% carbon-free electricity by 2040 and serve as a grounding force for the provisions in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.
"The Niagara Power Project is New York's largest source of clean electricity and this modernization project will allow it to continue operating for another 50 years," Governor Cuomo said.
When the Niagara Power Project produced its first power in 1961, it was the largest hydropower facility in the Western world and President John F. Kennedy called it "an example to the world of North American efficiency and determination." After 60 years of operation and its obtaining a new 50-year federal operating license in 2007, the Niagara Power Project remains the crown jewel of New York's power infrastructure.
The improvements will include replacing aging equipment with the latest machinery, reflecting advanced digital technologies for optimizing the hydroelectric project's performance.
The Niagara Project, through the state’s low-cost power allocation programs, directly supports more than 200,000 jobs and $17 billion in capital investments.
NYPA's Board of Trustees approved the major capital investment in the Niagara project at its July 30 meeting. The $1.1 billion investment makes Next Generation Niagara the largest capital project in NYPA's history.