National Grid announces Upstate Upgrade program

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) -National Grid is looking to invest more than $4 billion to transform its energy delivery system and propel economic growth across Upstate New York. 

The program is called the Upstate Upgrade, the collection of transmission enhancement projects will deliver a smarter, stronger, cleaner energy grid to support a more resilient energy network for generations to come. 

In a press release, the utility hopes to start more than 70 projects through 2030 that will generate thousands of new jobs and more than $1 billion in additional economic growth, while ensuring the energy grid can meet customers’ growing demand for electricity. 

“The Upstate Upgrade represents a landmark investment and speaks to how National Grid is reinforcing the grid to meet our customers’ growing energy needs while leading the clean energy transition.”

National Grid New York President Rudy Wynter

In addition to helping reach the state’s climate goals as outlined in New York’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, the upgrades will deliver for Upstate New York customers by: 

  • Improving the Energy Grid’s Resilience: By reinforcing and upgrading infrastructure like transmission lines and substations, the Upstate Upgrade will provide greater resilience in the face of increasingly frequent extreme weather, such as blizzards, tornadoes, and severe windstorms, which are destructive to grid infrastructure. That can mean fewer outages in the future and, when outages do happen, power can be restored quicker. Advanced security measures also will be implemented to safeguard our network from external threats. 
  • Strengthening the Upstate Economy: The Upstate Upgrade will benefit local economies by bringing over 1,700 new construction jobs, and associated residual spending to local communities, which in turn will create thousands of additional jobs, and at least $1.9 billion in overall economic output during and after construction, according to a third-party analysis performed by the consultancy West Monroe. The analysis also forecasts the Upstate Upgrade will create up to 2% economic growth in the project areas through 2030.  
  • Powering Upstate’s Energy Future: As new industry drives growth and revitalizes the region, the Upstate Upgrade will ensure that the electric grid can meet customers’ increasing day-to-day demands, including the needs of growing industries, while encouraging more investment and creating new jobs. 

Patrick Kelly, Chief Executive Officer St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency, added “Robust, dependable, and secure electric grid infrastructure is a competitive necessity today and is essential for future economic development success. The Upstate Upgrade being undertaken by National Grid will continue to position central and northern New York State on the leading edge of the transition to renewable and clean energy sources, while reinforcing the foundation of our traditional industrial base.” 

The full scope of the program, including projects and benefits, can be found at:

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