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Revisiting NYISO's Recent PPTN Successes

June 5, 2023

In our previous blog post that looked at the NYISO’s Public Policy Transmission Planning Process, we mentioned three transmission projects that will help deliver clean energy to the grid of the future. In this post, we'll take a closer look at the Empire State Line and the AC Transmission Projects.

Construction of the Empire State Line
Construction of the Empire State Line.
Photo provided by NextEra Energy Transmission New York.

Empire State Line

In a July 2015 order, the New York Public Service Commission (PSC) identified the relief of congestion in Western New York, including access to 2,700 MW from the Niagara hydroelectric facility and additional imports from Ontario, as a public policy transmission need (PPTN).

Working closely with stakeholders, the NYISO conducted a detailed evaluation and ranked ten proposed solutions based on each project’s performance under the selection metrics established in our tariff. That report was presented to the NYISO Board of Directors on October 17, 2017. Ultimately, the NYISO determined that NextEra Energy Transmission New York, Inc.’s Empire State Line project was the more efficient or cost-effective solution to address the Western NY PPTN.

The Empire State Line began construction in March 2021 and entered service in June 2022. The 20-mile, 345 kV transmission line supports New York State's ambitious climate goals by ensuring the full output of Niagara hydroelectric generating facilities and reducing carbon emissions by over 7 million tons.

New NYES monopoles
New NYES monopoles along the pre-existing transmission corridor.
Photo provided by New York Transco.

AC Transmission Project

In December 2015, the PSC issued an order identifying the Alternating Current (AC) Transmission Needs to provide additional transmission capacity to move power from Upstate to downstate New York. It's important to note that this PPTN was identified in two parts: Segment A (350 megawatt increase in transfer capability of the Central East interface) and Segment B (900 megawatt increase in transfer capability from Upstate New York/Southeastern New York to downstate New York).

The NYISO issued a solicitation for solutions to the AC Transmission Needs, which led to the submission of 16 projects from various developers. From those submitted projects, the NYISO determined that seven Segment A proposals and six Segment B proposals were viable and sufficient and eligible to be evaluated for the purpose of being selected as the more efficient or cost-effective solution.

For more than a year, NYISO staff worked collaboratively with stakeholders and developers to produce a thorough analysis and proposed ranking of the AC Transmission projects. The NYISO Board of Directors selected two projects. The Board agreed with the draft AC Transmission Report recommendation that North America Transmission/New York Power Authority’s Central East Connect project as the more efficient or cost-effective transmission solution for Segment A. At the same time, the Board concluded that the more efficient or cost-effective transmission solution for Segment B was National Grid/New York Transco LLC’s New York Energy Solution project.

Construction on Segment A began in February 2021, and construction on Segment B began in March 2021. Both segments are targeted to be in service by the end of 2023.

Looking Ahead to Long Island

Building on these successes, the NYISO's planning team has been evaluating proposals to address another public policy transmission need, as declared by the PSC based on the passage of the CLCPA, to deliver at least 3,000 MW of offshore wind energy from Long Island to New York. A final decision is expected in June 2023.