National Grid plans to invest more than $4 billion to transform its energy delivery system and promote economic growth across upstate New York. Called the ‘Upstate Upgrade’, the accumulation of transmission enhancement projects is anticipated to deliver what National Grid says will be a ‘smarter, stronger, cleaner energy grid to support a more resilient energy network for generations to come’. The 70 + projects to be embarked on between now and 2030 will ‘generate thousands of new jobs and more than a billion dollars in additional economic growth, while ensuring that the energy grid is able to meet growing demand’. 

"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." 

The investment has several perceived benefits on a large scale. By reinforcing and upgrading infrastructure like transmission lines and substations, the 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, leading to fewer outages in the future: and, when outages do happen, power can be restored more quickly. Advanced security measures also will be implemented to safeguard the network from external threats. 

The Upstate Upgrade will benefit local economies by bringing over 1700 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 to 2030.

National Grid will will construct or rebuild more than 1000 miles of transmission line, 45 substations, and install new technologies that prevent load loss, monitor load fluctuations, and resolve congestion. "The Upstate Upgrade is our largest investment in New York's electricity transmission system since it was built more than 100 years ago" commented Rudy Wynter. "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.