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National Grid Announces the Upstate Upgrade; Multi-year Initiative Will Improve Grid Resilience, Deliver Significant Benefits for Customers, Local Economies



National Grid plans to invest more than $4 billion to transform its energy delivery system and propel economic growth across Upstate New York. 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. The company is embarking on more than 70 projects through 2030 that will generate thousands of new jobs and more than a billion dollars in additional economic growth, while ensuring the energy grid is able to 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,” said Rudy Wynter, National Grid New York President. “This six-year portfolio of work will transform the grid, improve reliability and resilience and enable us to deliver renewable energy to homes and businesses across New York.” 

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. 

The full scope of the Upstate Upgrade, including projects and benefits, can be found at our dedicated website: UpstateUpgrade.NationalGrid.com

Julie Tighe, President of New York League of Conservation Voters: “There is no transition without transmission. Decarbonizing the state’s grid will require more than just generating wind, solar, and hydro power; we also need the poles and wires to deliver all that electricity to our homes and businesses. We applaud National Grid for prioritizing clean energy delivery in New York State."

Rob Simpson, President and CEO of CenterState Corporation for Economic Opportunity: “Recent economic development announcements in the Syracuse region and across Upstate demonstrate that the reliability of New York’s electric grid and the availability of abundant, clean energy is a competitive advantage, nationally and globally. The Upstate Upgrade will support New York’s increasing demand for electricity and encourage further investment and growth with a more efficient and resilient grid. With billions of dollars in new investment, and thousands of jobs generated directly and indirectly from National Grid’s efforts, the Upstate Upgrade will help our businesses thrive and communities prosper.” 

Hui Peng Koh, GlobalFoundries VP and General Manager: “We applaud National Grid for sharing in our commitment to innovation, job creation and sustainability. The electricity and semiconductor industries rely on each other, and the Upstate Upgrade will help our region achieve a cutting-edge energy infrastructure to support future growth.”

Mark Eagan, President and CEO of the Capital Region Chamber and the Center for Economic Growth: “The Upstate Upgrade will transform our electric grid and make additional economic growth possible throughout the state and into the Capital Region. This $4 billion investment over the next six years will spur significant job creation and ensure our communities remain vibrant, prosperous, and growing for years to come. A more resilient, secure, and efficient grid will help drive growth for the Capital Region and all New Yorkers.” 

Dottie Gallagher, President & CEO at the Buffalo Niagara Partnership: “The Buffalo Niagara Partnership welcomes National Grid's comprehensive plan to invest in its electric infrastructure.  Affordable, reliable energy is an essential component of economic development and National Grid's investments will help Buffalo Niagara and all of Upstate build a stronger, more competitive, and more equitable economy.” 

Nicholas Bruno, Vice President Business Development at Mohawk Valley EDGE: “We commend National Grid for their ambitious Upstate Upgrade initiative, a testament to their commitment to building a smarter, stronger, and cleaner energy grid for the Mohawk Valley and Upstate New York. These upgrades bolster our local economies by contributing to the Marcy Nanocenter's prospective success, providing opportunities for additional industrial sites, creating new jobs, increasing property taxes, and ultimately contributing to a sustainable future aligned with New York's CLCPA goals. By prioritizing economic development and community engagement, National Grid sets a commendable example of corporate responsibility and partnership that Mohawk Valley EDGE applauds, and we look forward to seeing the results of their efforts.”  

Garry Douglas, President of the North Country Chamber of Commerce: "Ample and reliable power in the North Country has never been more important than it is now with the major transition to electric from other energy sources and with economic development opportunities increasingly needing larger scale power access. That's why National Grid's Upstate Upgrade is so welcome and important. It is a very timely and indisputably crucial investment in sustaining and growing our regional economy in the years ahead and we thank National Grid for this historic commitment.”  

Anne Boles, Executive Director of the Fulton Montgomery Regional Chamber of Commerce: “National Grid’s Upstate Upgrade will power the Southern Adirondacks and Mohawk Valley's economic future. These critical upgrades will not only increase the capacity and resiliency of our electric grid, but will bring good-paying jobs, support existing businesses, and help spur new ones. Thanks to these investments, we can look forward to strengthening the region's business climate, economy, and quality of life. It is our mission at the Chamber to support innovation, and to partner in business, workforce, and tourism & economic development.” 

Patrick J. Kelly, Chief Executive Officer St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency: “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 Upstate Upgrade website includes more perspectives from local leaders, as well as ways National Grid supports our communities.

 

Modernized Grid Will Deliver for Customers, Communities  

National Grid’s Upstate Upgrade focuses on modernizing the transmission system to meet the expanded electricity needs of the growing economy and to power more electrical devices than ever before, including electric vehicles and heat pumps. And, while the current network has served customers well for more than a century, it wasn’t designed to connect and transport the amounts of wind and solar power that will be produced across the region.  

The company will construct or rebuild more than 1,000 miles of transmission line, 45 substations, and install new technologies that prevent load loss, monitor load fluctuations, and resolve congestion. This work also will protect the transmission grid against the increasing threat of extreme weather. 

“The Upstate Upgrade is our largest investment in New York’s electricity transmission system since it was built more than 100 years ago.” Wynter said. “While the grid has served us well for over a century, it’s time to make the changes that will set us up for the next century of growth and success in New York. 

“In addition, the Upstate Upgrade brings with it a different type of energy: economic growth,” Wynter said. “It will fuel local economies where our work will be concentrated with new jobs and spending, and expand the property tax base that supports local services, schools and communities.” 

Economic analysis performed for National Grid by the consulting group West Monroe indicates that the Upstate Upgrade could generate nearly $2 billion in economic output across New York state. 

Economic Benefits of the Upstate Upgrade 

Direct Jobs Created During Construction  

More than 1,700  

Total Economic Output  

At least $1.9 billion resulting in up to 2% increase in expected growth across the project areas 

Local Sourcing (During Construction)  

More than $300 million  

 

“The Upstate Upgrade means thousands of new jobs for the region, not just boosting local businesses, but also increasing property values and the prospects for new storefronts in the region with improved energy infrastructure,” said Paul DeCotis, a senior partner at West Monroe. “As an Upstate New York resident, it's a real win-win for community members and business owners with more reliable electric service, opportunities for greater economic expansion, and long-term prosperity in our counties for generations to come."

Consistent, Transparent Information Sharing 

To support this historic grid rebuild, the company has launched a new website – UpstateUpgrade.NationalGrid.com – which will serve as a digital hub for details about the projects as they develop, including maps and updates, outreach events and how the Upstate Upgrade will benefit every New Yorker. 

"National Grid is committed to working with and strengthening the communities we serve,” Wynter said. “One of the ways we do that is by conducting thoughtful, transparent outreach to residential and business customers, landowners, and elected officials to keep them informed about the Upstate Upgrade and offer them the opportunity to provide their thoughts. Our project website is another way we will be facilitating that conversation over the next six years.” 

National Grid is the largest energy delivery company in Upstate New York, serving electricity to 1.7 million electricity customers across 25,000 square miles. 

About National Grid

National Grid (NYSE: NGG) is an electricity, natural gas, and clean energy delivery company serving more than 20 million people through our networks in New York and Massachusetts. National Grid is focused on building a smarter, stronger, cleaner energy future — transforming our networks with more reliable and resilient energy solutions to meet state climate goals and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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