Proposed system upgrades, local transmission solutions to maintain New York bulk power system reliability

In its recently released “2012 Comprehensive Reliability Plan,” the New York ISO (NYISO) issued various recommendations including that system planning activities, such as those encompassed by the New York Energy Highway Blueprint, will need to be considered within NYISO’s reliability planning activities.

“The NYISO will continue to monitor and participate in other planning activities including [the New York Public Service Commission (PSC)] proceedings considering AC transmission upgrades, Indian Point reliability contingency plans and repowering of generation,” NYISO said in its plan, dated March 19 and approved by the RTO’s board of directors.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced in 2012 a plan to build a private sector-funded $2bn “Energy Highway” system that will tap into the generation capacity and renewable energy potential in upstate and western New York to bring low-cost power to downstate New York.

NYISO officials have expressed support for the Blueprint, saying that it is among several measures that will benefit the state’s transmission needs.

With regard to the Indian Point nuclear power plant, the PSC on March 15 ordered the New York Power Authority and Consolidated Edison’s (NYSE:ED) Consolidated Edison Company of New York to issue a request for proposals for power supply to replace what might be lost to the grid if the plant fails to win U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission license extensions.

NYISO said the planned system meets the reliability criteria with the proposed market-based solutions studied, noting that along with various uncertainties identified in the 2012 reliability needs assessment (RNA) related to base case assumptions, several risk factors exist that could adversely affect the implementation of the plan and hence system reliability over the 10-year planning horizon.

Such factors include that the New York transmission owners (TOs) need to proceed on schedule for completion with their local transmission plans (LTPs) as planned, and if a delay occurs in planned local projects, NYISO will reevaluate the impact of the delay at that time to determine whether a reliability need will arise.

Also, if the Indian Point power plant licenses are not renewed and the plant were to retire by the end of 2015 or thereafter, it would result in immediate violations of transmission security and resource adequacy criteria unless sufficient replacement resources can be put into operation before the retirement.

Among its recommendations, NYISO’s reliability plan recommended that the RTO monitor and track NRG’s (NYSE:NRG) proposal to repower Astoria, “the only market-based solution capable of fully meeting the 2021-2022 resource adequacy needs.”

NRG submitted a market-based proposal for repowering generating capacity at Astoria by replacing 595 MW of existing generation with four new CCGT units for a net increase of 405 MW, in response to resource adequacy needs that arise in 2021. Those units would go into service in the 2016-2018 period, NYISO said, adding that the project is approved to be built in two phases, with the net increase achievable after the completion of the first two units in 2016.

NYISO concluded in its plan that the proposed system upgrades and local transmission solutions will maintain the reliability of the New York bulk power system. Furthermore, the projects included in the regulated backstop or alternative regulated solutions, if they need to be triggered or are otherwise put into service, may further improve system reliability. Also, market-based projects may improve system reliability even further.

TOs presented individual plans for solving identified transmission security needs.

Iberdrola USA subsidiary Rochester Gas and Electric, for instance, submitted a regulated backstop solution that included the use of special case resources and other operational procedures for 2013 in conjunction with its previously announced LTP. The Rochester Area Reliability Project will include replacing two existing 345/115-kV transformers at Station 80 by 2014 and will be followed by a new breaker and a half substation with two 345/115-kV transformers and 115-kV line to Station 23 in the Rochester, N.Y., area.

Iberdrola is a subsidiary of Iberdrola S.A.

Also, National Grid plc subsidiary National Grid USA submitted an updated LTP for the Clay – Teall #10 115-kV circuit reliability issue, which includes operational measures at the Oswego 345-kV substation, possible reductions in Oswego complex generation, and distribution load switching off line #10 during periods of at-risk loading. The permanent solution will include the reconductoring of 12.8 miles of the #10 circuit with 795 ACSR conductor by December 2016, NYISO added.

Additionally, Orange & Rockland is proposing to install a new independent relay protection system for the Ramapo 345-kV substation by June, NYISO said, noting that this new protection system will result in the exclusion of the Ramapo 345/138-kV transformers from the Northeast Power Coordinating Council bulk power system.

Alternative regulated solutions include one by Poseidon Transmission that involves a 500-MW high-voltage direct current connection between the Public Service Enterprise Group (NYSE:PEG) Deans substation in central New Jersey and the Long Island Power Authority’s Ruland Road substation in central Long Island, N.Y.

“Factors such as extreme weather conditions, public policy revisions and dynamic economic trends can dramatically impact the electric system,” NYISO President and CEO Stephen Whitley said in a March 22 statement. “We must be vigilant in monitoring a diverse array of risk factors and ready to adapt and respond should conditions change.”

NYISO said it will continue to monitor, evaluate and report, on a quarterly basis, the viability and timeliness of all submitted market-based solutions and will be prepared to trigger a gap or regulated backstop solution, if needed, in accordance with established procedures.

Additionally, NYISO said it will continue to monitor and report the status of LTPs associated with the bulk and non-bulk reliability needs identified in the RNA and comprehensive reliability plan studies.

Also among its recommendations, NYISO said its planning processes, including the 2014 RNA, need to actively monitor and address the potential impacts of additional system changes and known risk factors. The monitoring needs to include the projects being developed in response to the Dunkirk and Cayuga mothballing announcements, NYISO added.

The PSC has directed National Grid and Iberdrola USA subsidiary New York State Electric and Gas to evaluate repowering as an alternative outcome for the Dunkirk generating station and the Cayuga generating stations, respectively.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3286 Articles
Corina Rivera-Linares was TransmissionHub’s chief editor until August 2021, as well as part of the team that established TransmissionHub in 2011. Before joining TransmissionHub, Corina covered renewable energy and environmental issues, as well as transmission, generation, regulation, legislation and ISO/RTO matters at SNL Financial from 2005 to 2011. She has also covered such topics as health, politics, and education for weekly newspapers and national magazines.