NYISO responds to NRG protest involving new transmission tie proposed by NYPA, Con Edison

The New York ISO (NYISO) submitted an answer to FERC on NRG’s (NYSE:NRG) protest involving a new transmission tie proposed by the New York Power Authority (NYPA) and Consolidated Edison Company of New York (Con Edison).

According to NYISO, on April 26, NYPA and Con Edison – collectively, “the parties” – filed a transmission facility interconnection agreement requesting that FERC accept the interconnection agreement effective May 1, in which the parties proposed a new transmission tie to connect the Con Edison Astoria East substation to the NYPA Astoria Annex substation (the Astoria PAR).

Con Edison proposed the Astoria PAR as a solution for the local reliability deficiency that could result in the event of the mothballing of the Astoria No. 2 generator and the concurrent unavailability of Astoria No. 4 generator. It has proceeded on an accelerated basis in order to be available before the start of the 2012 summer capability period, NYISO added.

The parties sought a waiver of the 60-day notice period to accommodate the requested effective date and FERC set a comments due date of May 17.

On May 11, NRG filed its limited protest, stating that its protest is limited to cost allocation issues. “In short, the NRG Companies request that the commission clarify that, for purposes of cost allocation, 2012 class year participants be held harmless from any adverse impacts caused by the emergency transmission fix proposed by the parties,” NRG said, according to NYISO.

On May 23, NYPA filed a motion for leave to answer and answer to the limited protest, and Con Edison filed, on May 15 and May 24, respectively, an initial response to the limited protest and a response to the limited protest. NRG filed an answer to those filings on May 30.

In its answer to NRG’s limited protest and May 30 answer, NYISO noted that while NRG said its project in class year 2012 is “next in line” for access to an open bus position at the Astoria Annex substation, NRG’s project does not have pre-established rights to any bus position.

The project’s cost allocation for upgrades needed to interconnect to the transmission system, including any required upgrades at Astoria Annex, will be established during the ongoing class year 2012 study in accordance with applicable tariff provisions. NYISO also said that since the upgrades and associated cost responsibility have not been determined, it is not appropriate or consistent with NYISO’s tariff to require that “2012 class year participants be held harmless.”

Under NYISO’s tariff, interconnection costs are allocated to proposed generation projects and merchant transmission facilities through the class year interconnection facilities study, which evaluates the impacts of a group of qualifying projects on a combined basis. Each project in a class year shares in the then-currently available electrical capability of the transmission system, and each class year project shares in the cost of upgrades required to interconnect its respective project based on its project’s pro rata electrical impact.

NYISO also said that NRG’s reference to FERC’s “first-in-time” precedent is misplaced, noting that NRG insisted that “the [open access transmission tariff (OATT)] and commission precedent require that the Astoria PAR project hold the 2012 class year participants harmless from any increases in costs as a result of allowing the interconnection to proceed … Con Ed has no right to jump to the front of the queue.”

However, NYISO said, the Astoria PAR is not subject to the NYISO interconnection process and as a result, is not evaluated as a project in the class year study.

Contrary to NRG’s assertion that the Astoria PAR “skipped the process (an interconnection request and system impact study),” transmission projects like the Astoria PAR have been treated as outside the defined scope of the NYISO interconnection process and require only a two-party interconnection agreement – an interconnection agreement to which NYISO is not a party.

NYISO also said that even if the Astoria PAR required a system impact study under a certain section of the NYISO OATT, and had a queue position, it would not be evaluated as a proposed project in a class year, nor would the manner in which it is modeled in the class year 2012 annual baseline transmission assessment (ATBA) be any different.

Transmission owners are allocated the cost of any upgrades required in the ATBA, including any upgrades that could be triggered by a new transmission owner project. Therefore, NYISO added, NRG’s contention that the Astoria PAR should “take its place in line behind already planned projects in the 2012 class year…” is not consistent with the NYISO interconnection process.

Con Edison is a subsidiary of Consolidated Edison (NYSE:ED).

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3160 Articles
Corina Rivera-Linares, chief editor for TransmissionHub, has covered the U.S. power industry for the past 15 years. Before joining TransmissionHub, Corina covered renewable energy and environmental issues, as well as transmission, generation, regulation, legislation and ISO/RTO matters at SNL Financial. She has also covered such topics as health, politics, and education for weekly newspapers and national magazines. She can be reached at clinares@endeavorb2b.com.