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Niagara Falls

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced Wednesday 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 largest source of clean electricity in New York State and one of the country's largest hydroelectric projects. The life extension and modernization program, called "Next Generation Niagara," centers on the Robert Moses Niagara Power Plant, the Niagara project's main generating facility. NYPA plans to invest $1.1 billion in the project, making it one of the most ambitious recent infrastructure endeavors in the state. Next Generation Niagara will help realize Cuomo's aggressive clean energy goals for transitioning the state to 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2040 and serve as a grounding force for the forward-looking provisions in the landmark Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, which Cuomo recently signed into law.
"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," Cuomo said. "This extraordinary investment is a crucial part of our nation-leading plan to decarbonize New York's electric power system by 2040 and will continue supplying job-producing companies across the state with clean, low-cost energy."
The improvements will include replacing aging equipment with the latest machinery reflecting advanced digital technologies for optimizing the hydroelectric project's performance. The project will secure the plant's long-term future as a clean power generator that spurs economic development in Western New York and across the state through its low-cost power allocation programs, including Cuomo's ReChargeNY program. The Niagara Project, through these programs, directly supports more than 200,000 jobs and $17 billion in capital investments. Next Generation Niagara also will support an estimated 60 union construction jobs over the course of the project.
NYPA's Board of Trustees approved the major capital investment in the Niagara project, which began operating in 1961, at its July 30 meeting. The $1.1 billion investment makes Next Generation Niagara the largest capital project in NYPA's history.
The initiative will encompass four major phases that will ensure continued safe, reliable operation for decades to come and will modernize NYPA's flagship plant as the Power Authority advances its goal to become the nation's first end-to-end digital utility. The four phases include a comprehensive inspection of the Robert Moses plant's penstocks; refurbishing the 630-ton crane that enables mechanical work at the plant; upgrading and digitizing the control systems; and building a new back-up control room and replacing mechanical parts that have reached the end of their operating life. Work is set to begin later this year.
NYPA President and CEO Gil C. Quiniones said, "Next Generation Niagara is the largest and most comprehensive modernization and digitization project ever undertaken by NYPA. The Robert Moses Niagara Power Plant is a major piece of New York's existing renewable electricity capacity, and we are committed to playing a leadership role by sustaining and growing the amount of carbon-free electricity we provide to our great state."
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