PRESS RELEASE | NYISO Selects NextEra Transmission Project to Increase Access to Hydro Power
Rensselaer, NY - In a decision that will support New York’s goal of maximizing the flow of energy from renewable resources in the region, the New York Independent System Operator’s (NYISO) Board of Directors today selected a proposal from NextEra Energy Transmission New York (NextEra) to address the public policy need for new transmission in Western New York.
The NYISO board’s action also approves an accompanying report that details the selection process that led to today’s decision.
Today’s decision represents the first selection of a transmission project by the NYISO using the Public Policy Transmission Planning Process (PPTPP) approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) under Order No. 1000. It is the culmination of a joint effort by the NYISO, the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC), developers, and stakeholders to address transmission needs in Western New York. Those needs are driven by New York State public policy requirements to more fully utilize renewable energy from the Robert Moses Niagara Hydroelectric Power Station as well as imports from Ontario.
While maximizing the flow of energy from renewable resources, the transmission upgrades are expected to provide reliability, environmental and economic benefits, including: improving transmission security, reducing emissions, and increasing consumer access to lower-cost resources.
“The cleaner, greener grid of the future will depend on a modernized, upgraded, and expanded transmission system,” said NYISO President and CEO Brad Jones. “Well planned transmission investments and upgraded transmission capability are vital to meeting the state’s renewable public policy goals and to efficiently move power to address regional needs. We sincerely appreciate the hard work that all of the developers put into their proposals, which made for a robust competitive process.”
The recommendations in the Western NY PPTPP Report approved by the board were developed in response to a PSC Order that found “significant environmental, economic, and reliability benefits could be achieved by relieving the transmission congestion identified in Western New York.”
Pursuant to the PSC Order, the NYISO issued a solicitation for proposals to address the Western NY Need. Developers submitted twelve proposed projects and the NYISO identified ten viable and sufficient projects from five developers. The Western NY PPTPP Report describes the extensive comparative evaluations performed for the proposed transmission projects, culminating in the NYISO’s recommendations for ranking and selection of NextEra’s Empire State Line as the more efficient or cost-effective transmission solution.
NextEra Energy Transmission New York Empire State Line
The Empire State Line Proposal includes two new 345 kV substations near Dysinger and Elma, a twenty mile 345 kV line connecting the new substations, as well as a phase angle regulator (PAR) to control power flows. All facilities will predominantly utilize existing rights-of-way. The Dysinger substation will become the new transmission hub in Western New York, connecting a total of seven 345 kV lines. This new hub will not only provide access to existing renewable resources, but will also provide a backbone for future renewable resource integration in Western NY.
Public Policy Transmission Planning Process (PPTPP)
The PPTPP is the newest component of the NYISO’s Comprehensive System Planning Process and considers transmission needs driven by public policy requirements in the local and regional transmission planning processes. The PPTPP was developed in consultation with NYISO stakeholders and the PSC and approved by the FERC under Order No. 1000.
The NYISO’s PPTPP consists of the following steps relative to identified transmission needs:
1. Identification of public policy requirements/public policy needs.
2. Solicitation of proposed solutions to identified needs.
3. Evaluation of the viability and sufficiency of proposed solutions.
4. Evaluation and selection by the NYISO of the more efficient or cost-effective transmission project to satisfy the need.
A core concept of the NYISO’s evaluation and selection process is the use of an independent consultant to review each proposed project and apply a consistent methodology across all projects for establishing cost and schedule estimates as well as routing assessments.
NextEra must submit the project to the appropriate governmental agencies and authorities to obtain approvals and permits to site, construct, and operate the project. This includes the PSC’s process for siting of major utility transmission facilities under Article VII of the Public Service Law.
The NYISO will work with NextEra to enter into agreements for the development and operation of the transmission project, including a schedule for siting, permitting, interconnection, construction, and other milestones for entry into service by June 2022.