Gov. Hochul visits Lewiston, announces significant upgrades to Niagara Power Project


LEWISTON, N.Y. (WIVB) — Gov. Kathy Hochul was in Lewiston Wednesday morning to discuss the improvements made at both the Lewiston Pump Generating Plant and the Robert Moses Niagara Power Plant.

Recently, crews completed the $460 million modernization and life extension project at the former, and have made progress on digitization efforts involving hydropower turbines at the latter. Together, they form the Niagara Power Project.

New York State’s goal is to transition to strictly carbon-free electricity by 2040.

“Taking bold steps in the fight against climate change has never been more important, and New York State is prepared to lead the way forward taking advantage of carbon-free sources of energy,” Gov. Hochul said.

Hochul’s office says the digitization of the first of 13 hydropower turbines is a major milestone of Next Generation Niagara — a $1.1 billion, 15-year program to extend the operating life of the Niagara Power Project. The program was launched in 2019.

The digitization involves the installation of new, digital controls and the creation of corresponding digital connections to the Niagara Power Plant’s control room and switchyard.

The project at the Lewiston Pump Generating Plant began in 2012, and included the replacement of the facility’s 12 pump-turbines and its generator step-up transformers. They were from 1961, when the plant first went into service.

“By digitizing and modernizing our Niagara Power Project, one of the largest sources of clean energy in the country, we’re ensuring that it will continue to power our economy for years to come,” Hochul says. “This project holds up New York as a shining example of what it takes to modernize and upgrade a large, complex generation resource.”

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Evan Anstey is an Associated Press Award and Emmy-nominated digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.

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