New York ISO: TOTS projects placed in service in June

A set of three intrastate projects collectively named the Transmission Owner Transmission Solutions (TOTS) was placed in service in June, the New York ISO (NYISO) said in its annual Power Trends report released on July 5.

The projects, which were approved by the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) as part of the state’s Energy Highway initiative, are expected to increase transfer capability into southeastern New York by 450 MW, the NYISO said.

According to the report, the projects include:

  • The Marcy–South Series Compensation and Fraser–Coopers Corners 345-kV line reconductoring project
  • Construction of a second Rock Tavern–Ramapo 345-kV line
  • Upgrading underground transmission circuits from State Island to the rest of New York City

As TransmissionHub reported, New York Transco on May 19 unconditionally accepted the terms and conditions of two PSC orders related to the TOTS projects.

The PSC, in a one-commissioner order, on May 6 granted a certificate of public convenience and necessity (CPCN), subject to conditions, to New York Transco related to the TOTS projects. The May 6 order, which was made by PSC Chair Audrey Zibelman, was approved and confirmed by the PSC on May 19.

As noted in the May 6 order, New York Transco sought, in part, a CPCN under Section 68 of the Public Service Law in a December 2015 petition.

On April 21, the PSC granted NY Transco’s request for a lightened regulatory regime and financing approval, but reserved judgment with respect to the issuance of a CPCN until a “due hearing” was conducted to obtain the input of any interested entities. A public statement hearing was held on April 27 in order to obtain public input regarding the CPCN matters, and no public comments were received during the hearing or submitted in writing, the PSC said.

New York Transco is a New York limited liability company that is owned by affiliates of the New York investor-owned utilities (IOUs), which are Central Hudson Gas and Electric; Consolidated Edison Company of New York (Con Edison); Orange & Rockland Utilities (O&R); Niagara Mohawk Power d/b/a National Grid; New York State Electric & Gas (NYSEG); and Rochester Gas and Electric (RG&E). The affiliates of the IOUs that own New York Transco are Consolidated Edison Transmission; Grid NY; Iberdrola USA Networks New York Transco; and Central Hudson Electric Transmission.

As noted in the NYISO report, the goals of the Energy Highway initiative were the focus of PSC proceedings that began in 2012 to expand alternating current (AC) transmission capacity. To encourage transmission proposals developed within existing rights of way (ROWs) while limiting potential impacts to communities, the PSC adopted an expedited siting process for transmission facilities built within the current ROW “envelope” (height and width), the NYISO said.

The PSC last December advanced its AC transmission proceeding to a competitive process managed by the NYISO by identifying a Public Policy Transmission Need to relieve congestion on the Upstate New York (UPNY)/Southeast New York (SENY) and Central East interfaces, which run from central New York, through the Capital Region to the Lower Hudson Valley, the NYISO said.

The PSC action limited the new transmission lines to replacing and upgrading existing lines within existing ROWs, and adding new substation facilities at several locations, which is intended to reduce or eliminate adverse environmental, landowner and economic impacts, the NYISO said.

The transmission improvements are proposed for 156 miles of high-voltage lines along the backbone of the state’s electric transmission system running west to east and north to south, the NYISO said, adding that the transmission upgrade will have two primary segments.

The first segment runs about 91 miles starting in Oneida County, through Herkimer, Montgomery and Schenectady counties, and ending in Albany County, while the second segment runs 51 miles starting in Rensselaer County, through Columbia County and ending in Dutchess County. The NYISO also said that a related upgraded line runs
11 miles in Orange County. Any successful developer would need to obtain final siting permits from the PSC, the NYISO said.

In April, developers submitted 15 transmission projects and one non-transmission project in response to the NYISO’s solicitation of proposed solutions, the NYISO said, adding that it is currently assessing their viability and sufficiency to meet the transmission need.

Noting that merchant plans for transmission have also emerged, the NYISO said that the Champlain-Hudson Power Express has been proposed by Transmission Developers Inc. That 300-plus mile, high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission project is designed to deliver
up to 1,000 MW from Québec to New York City, the NYISO said, adding that the project has secured a New York State Article VII siting certificate from the PSC and the federal permit needed for international lines from the U.S. Department of Energy. The developer has also proposed a 145-mile alternative that would connect New York’s Capital Region to New York City, the NYISO said, adding that both alternatives have been submitted to the NYISO for interconnection studies.

The NYISO noted that another 1,000-MW HVDC project, the Empire State Connector, was announced in April by transmission developer OneGRID. That 260-mile project would run between Utica and New York City, the NYISO said, adding that the developer has submitted a request for interconnection study to the NYISO and requested negotiated rate authority from FERC. Other permits applications are pending, the NYISO said.

Among other things, the NYISO discussed interregional planning, noting that in collaboration with ISO New England (ISO-NE) and PJM Interconnection, it expanded the interregional planning process based upon the existing Northeast Coordinated Planning Protocol that had been in place for more than a decade. The three ISO/RTOs in April issued the 2015 Northeast Coordinated System Plan, the NYISO said.

No new needs for interregional transmission projects were identified by the plan, which summarized the regional ISO/RTOs planning efforts in 2014 and 2015, the NYISO said, adding that according to the plan, a new 345/115-kV interconnection between PJM and NYISO went into service last November.

The NYISO said that it is also engaging in collaborative efforts with planning authorities across the entire Eastern Interconnection.

The Eastern Interconnection Planning Collaborative (EIPC), which involves 19 electric system planning authorities, in March issued its Report for 2025 Summer and Winter Roll-Up Integration Cases, the NYISO said. The “roll-up” cases combine the electric system plans of the EIPC members in a comprehensive interconnection-wide model, the NYISO said, noting that the report evaluated summer and winter peak periods for the year 2025. Examining the amount of power that can be reliably moved between regions, based on current system plans, the report found additional transfer capability ranging from 336 MW to more than 5,000 MW, the NYISO said.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3058 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.