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NYPA awards contract for control system modernization at 2,525-MW Robert Moses Niagara

Burns & McDonnell announces it has won a contract to serve as engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor for a $134 million electrical control system upgrade and modernization project for New York Power Authority’s 2,525-MW Robert Moses Niagara Power Plant.

The control system project is a crucial component of a recently announced $1.1 billion Next Generation Niagara program to extend the life of hydropower facilities on the Niagara Falls waterway and will move NYPA further along on its path to become one of the nation’s first fully digital utilities, according to a press release.

NYPA is the largest state-owned public power organization in the U.S., operating 16 generating facilities and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of high-voltage transmission lines. Hydroelectric facilities provide more than 70% of the generation capacity NYPA manages.

Burns & McDonnell is working with Emerson, which will provide its Ovation™ automation system, designated as a Qualified Anti-Terrorism Technology by the U.S Department of Homeland Security, as well as configuration and commissioning services.

The control system modernization will be implemented in a phased approach, which began in fall 2019 and will continue over the next 14 years. The controls upgrade will include installation of digital components for all control facilities, an u modern control room and new protection schemes for physical and cyberattacks.

“The control systems upgrade is a key piece of the puzzle as we ready the Niagara Power Project for another 50 years of service,” says Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and chief executive officer. “We selected the Burns & McDonnell team because they are experienced with providing EPC services in the power generation market and proved to be familiar with rapidly advancing technologies deployed in control system configuration.”

The Niagara Power Project is part of a plan to incorporate more renewable energy sources into New York State’s energy mix, announced by New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo early in 2019. The state plans to procure 9 GW of offshore wind by 2035, 6 GW of distributed solar installations by 2025, and 3 GW of energy storage by 2030. New York aims to obtain 70% of its power needs from renewable sources by 2030 and reach 100% carbon neutrality by 2040.