ISO-NE, NYISO, PJM revise planning coordination protocol to reflect FERC Order 1000 requirements

ISO New England (ISO-NE), the New York ISO (NYISO) and PJM Interconnection have revised the Northeastern ISO/RTO Planning Coordination Protocol, under which the regions have exchanged data since it was developed in 2003, according to the respective FERC Order 1000 compliance filings of ISO-NE and NYISO.

The three regions have engaged in interregional planning since they were formed in the late 1990s, an ISO-NE spokesperson told TransmissionHub on July 12.

The protocol involves not just ISO New England’s neighboring region, NYISO, but also PJM and neighboring regions in Canada.

ISO-NE, NYISO and PJM are parties to the protocol, while three entities in Canada are participants.

“Under the protocol, the regions have exchanged data and jointly studied interregional transmission concepts and projects under the coordination of a standing interregional planning committee, with strong stakeholder involvement through a standing stakeholder advisory committee,” the spokesperson said.

The protocol provides for the periodic production of the Northeastern Coordinated System Plan, she said, adding that the three regions revised the protocol to reflect the requirements of Order 1000.

“With this long-standing interregional planning process among ISO New England, NYISO and PJM, the ISO believes that it has a strong foundation for compliance with the interregional coordination and cost-allocation elements of FERC’s Order 1000,” the spokesperson said. “In order to implement the interregional coordination elements of Order 1000, the compliance filings amend the Northeastern ISO/RTO Planning Coordination Protocol and the ISO-NE tariff to build on the region’s existing foundation of inter-ISO and interregional stakeholder committees and processes.”

As required by Order 1000, the three ISOs/RTOs and the transmission owners in the three regions developed an interregional cost-allocation methodology. Previously, she added, the three regions had an informal cost-allocation process that called for each region to pay for the portion of projects located in its territory.

According to the amended protocol, filed with FERC by ISO-NE on behalf of itself, NYISO and PJM, the Joint ISO/RTO Planning Committee (JIPC) is made up of representatives of the three RTOs and coordinates interregional planning activities, among other things.

The purpose of an Interregional Planning Stakeholder Advisory Committee (IPSAC) is to allow for stakeholder review and input to, for instance, coordinated interregional system planning activities and JIPC activities.

On data and information to be exchanged, ISO-NE noted that each party is to provide the others with information, as agreed by the JIPC, that may be required for the performance of reliability, economic and public policy planning studies.

Each party is to provide the others with all data required for system planning analyses, such as data required for production cost modeling and the development of power flow cases, the filing added.

The parties are to also identify differences in their data, models, assumptions, planning horizons and criteria to be used in joint evaluation of proposed interregional transmission projects and engage in discussions to reconcile those differences, to the extent possible.

The filing also noted that on annual basis, or at the request for any of the parties, the JIPC will proactively review regional needs and solutions identified in regional planning processes of the parties and identify, with input from the IPSAC, whether there are concepts for potential interregional transmission projects that could – in the reasonable engineering judgment of the JIPC – meet regional needs of more than one region more efficiently and cost-effectively than separate regional transmission projects.

Among other things, the filing said that with respect to certain interregional transmission projects and other projects involving NYISO and PJM, the cost allocation for such projects is to be in accordance with the joint operating agreement (JOA) among and between NYISO and PJM.

Similarly, certain interregional transmission projects and other projects involving NYISO and ISO-NE, the cost allocation for such projects is to be in accordance with the respective tariffs of NYISO and ISO-NE.

The filing also noted that the parties acknowledge that the cost allocation for certain interregional transmission projects and other projects involving NYISO and PJM set forth in the JOA are not to be changed without the mutual consent of the holders of Federal Power Act (FPA) Section 205 filing rights with respect to interregional cost allocation in the PJM region and the NYISO region, including the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) and the New York Power Authority (NYPA).

Similarly, the parties acknowledged that certain cost allocation for interregional transmission projects and other projects involving NYISO and ISO-NE set forth in their respective tariffs is not to be changed without the mutual consent of the holders of FPA Section 205 filing rights with respect to interregional cost allocation in the NYISO region, including LIPA and NYPA, and ISO-NE region as further described in such tariffs and other documents on file with FERC.

Among other things, the filing noted that nothing in the protocol will convey, expand, limit or otherwise alter any rights of the parties, transmission owners and developers, market participants or other entities to submit filings under FPA Section 205 regarding cost allocation or any other matter.

Compliance filings by ISO-NE, NYISO

In their respective compliance filings, ISO-NE (Docket Nos. ER13-1960, ER13-1957) and NYISO (Docket No. 13-1942) noted that the cost allocation provisions of the Order 1000 interregional compliance filings must comply with certain principles, including:

  • Interregional cost allocation principle 1: The costs of a new interregional transmission facility must be allocated to each transmission planning region in which that transmission facility is located in a manner that is at least roughly commensurate with the estimated benefits of that transmission facility in each of the transmission planning regions.
  • Interregional cost allocation principle 2: A transmission planning region that receives no benefit from an interregional transmission facility that is located in that region must not be involuntarily allocated any of the costs of that transmission facility.
  • Interregional cost allocation principle 3: If a benefit-cost threshold ratio is used to determine whether an interregional transmission facility has sufficient net benefits to qualify for interregional cost allocation, that ratio must not be so large as to exclude a transmission facility with significant positive net benefits from cost allocation.

The protocol’s main purpose is to contribute to the ongoing reliability and enhanced operational and economic performance of the neighboring systems, requiring the parties to coordinate the studies performed in response to interconnection and long-term firm transmission requests that could affect other protocol parties’ systems.

Activities that have been conducted under the protocol include: the study of transmission upgrades, including improvements in the Plattsburgh, N.Y. – Burlington, Vt., area; the coordination of interconnection queue studies and transmission improvements to ensure reliable interregional planning; consideration of cross-border transmission security issues, including the consideration of loss-of-source contingencies in New England; and studies aimed at investigating generator-deliverability issues and load-deliverability issues.

The amended protocol meets, and in many cases exceeds, the interregional coordination requirements of Order 1000, the RTOs said. Furthermore, it builds on existing inter-ISO and interregional stakeholder committees and processes to implement the interregional coordination elements of the order.

The IPSAC, which has an open membership from the three regions – NYISO, ISO-NE and PJM – will, in connection with Section 7 of the amended protocol, provide input into the JIPC‘s review of regional needs and solutions to identify concepts for potential interregional transmission projects.

The IPSAC will review the results of the JIPC’s studies and analyses of a proposed interregional transmission project, to allow the regional stakeholder processes to benefit from IPSAC input on the proposed project, the RTOs added.

If the interregional transmission project is approved by each region that has a need addressed by the project, the corresponding existing regional transmission projects will be displaced, and the costs of the interregional project will be allocated among the regions as noted in the amended protocol.

The amended protocol facilitates the consideration of efficient and cost-effective interregional transmission projects spanning three regions, and not just between two neighboring regions as required by the order, the RTOs added.

They also noted that Order 1000 requires that the neighboring regions describe the types of transmission studies conducted to evaluate conditions on neighboring systems for determining whether interregional facilities are more efficient or cost-effective than regional facilities.

The amended protocol meets that requirement as it provides for the JIPC to coordinate all interregional studies deemed necessary to allow the effective consideration by the regions, in the same general timeframe, of an interregional transmission project. The studies performed by JIPC may include power flow, production cost, stability and short-circuit studies, the RTOs added.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 2931 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.