At the cost of $118 million, National Grid has begun construction on a new power station at its Gardenville site in the Town of West Seneca, where company officials estimate one third of the region's power is currently distributed.
The current station, first built in the 1930s and upgraded in the 1950s and 1960s, sends electricity along 17 lines. While saying it was "built to last," National Grid's New York president, Ken Daly, says demand is rising and, with it, the need to maintain reliability.
"Clearly, it's time," Daly said. "As well as the system runs and as high as the reliability is, we as a company constantly need to modernize the system."
Daly says when you include adjustments for inflation, power rates are now lower than they were in 2004.
The new 115,000-watt station, located off Indian Church Road near Buffalo Creek, is expected to be completed in four years. It's one of several projects in a five-year, three-billion dollar investment in Upstate power infrastructure by the company.
In addition to the new station, National Grid is spending $80,000 on enhancements at local wetland sites, to the delight of West Seneca Town Supervisor Sheila Meegan.
"That was the great takeaway for us, as a town and the environmental commission, knowing that you were willing to invest that kind of money for building of the wetland viewing platform," said Meegan during her remarks in a Wednesday news conference. "This viewing platform will have benches. It will provide an enhanced public access and educational opportunities to both wetland areas, not only here but at the West Seneca Oxbow."