New York ISO schedules forum to look at congestion issues

On Dec. 17, the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) will host a forum to present the results of its most recent Congestion Assessment and Resource Integration Study (CARIS).

The forum will be held at the Peter A.A. Berle Conference Center of the NYISO’s corporate headquarters in Rensselaer. The CARIS study is an economic analysis of transmission congestion on the New York state bulk power system and the potential costs and benefits of relieving transmission congestion.

Approved by the NYISO Board of Directors in November, the study was developed as part of the NYISO’s comprehensive planning process with defined assumptions and procedures and with extensive stakeholder input.

Transmission congestion results from physical limits on how much power the New York electric grid can reliably transfer, the New York ISO noted in a Dec. 3 statement. Congestion adds to the costs of electricity by limiting the ability of lower-cost power to be transmitted to consumers. Solutions to congestion may include building or upgrading transmission lines and related facilities, building less expensive power generation next to the load or employing measures to reduce demand for electricity in the congested area.

The study identified the most congested parts of the New York state bulk power system based upon historic data as well as estimates of future congestion. Those areas include all or parts of the high-voltage transmission path from Oneida County through the Capital Region and south to the Lower Hudson Valley. The CARIS process analyzed generic transmission, generation and demand response solutions in these regions that could ultimately yield savings for power consumers.

The study projects lower levels of congestion than prior studies due to the extended operation of a Special Protection System (SPS) at a 1,080-MW power plant in the town of Athens, 30 miles south of Albany. The SPS equipment was installed on a short-term basis to allow bottled generation to be dispatched. The temporary solution will cease operation when permanent transmission additions or upgrades are built. Any evaluation of the economic benefits of proposed long-term transmission enhancements should take into account the short-term impact of the Athens SPS.

During the next phase of the CARIS process, developers are being invited to propose specific transmission projects to address congestion on the state’s bulk power system. The NYISO will perform a benefit/cost analysis for each specific proposed transmission project to assess eligibility for regulated cost recovery.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.