NYISO files with FERC compliance filing containing proposed tariff revisions

The New York ISO (NYISO) on Sept. 13 filed with FERC a compliance filing that contained proposed tariff revisions, which the NYISO said are necessary to implement the directives of a FERC December 2015 order and to clarify existing tariff language, or are non-substantive organizational adjustments.

As the tariff revisions are necessary to make the NYISO’s Order 1000-related tariff provisions clearer and more accurate, it is consistent with FERC precedent to include them in the compliance filing, the NYISO said.

The NYISO requested that FERC accept the proposed revisions with an effective date of April 1, 2016, which coincides with the effective date for previously filed changes in a March compliance filing that addressed FERC’s directives in the December order.

Additionally, the NYISO requested that FERC issue a final order accepting its remaining Order 1000 compliance filings and related tariff changes.

“The NYISO has endeavored to fulfill every aspect and principle of the commission’s Order No. 1000 planning requirements in multiple compliance filings beginning in 2012,” the NYISO said. “Given that the NYISO’s regional planning processes under Order No. 1000 commenced on January 1, 2014, that the NYISO is completing the first round of these processes and commenced the next rounds of reliability and public policy planning beginning in January 2016, and that the commission is considering potential further revisions to Order No. 1000’s planning requirements, it is important that the NYISO’s current regional transmission planning process be settled with final approval from the commission,” the NYISO said.

The NYISO noted that in response to the Order 1000 regional transmission planning and cost allocation directives, it and the then-existing New York Transmission Owners submitted compliance filings to revise the NYISO’s tariff requirements for its comprehensive system planning process (CSPP), which is composed of the NYISO’s local, reliability, economic and public policy transmission planning processes. FERC has largely accepted the NYISO’s revised CSPP as compliant with the Order 1000 requirements, the NYISO said.

At the time of those compliance filings, the New York Transmission Owners consisted of Central Hudson Gas & Electric; Consolidated Edison Company of New York; New York State Electric & Gas; Niagara Mohawk Power d/b/a National Grid; Orange and Rockland Utilities; Rochester Gas and Electric; the New York Power Authority; and the Long Island Lighting Company d/b/a Long Island Power Authority.

The NYISO said that in its May 2015 compliance filing, it submitted additional tariff revisions and a pro forma development agreement for its reliability planning process in response to FERC’s directives in an April 2015 order. In response to the May 2015 compliance filing, FERC in its December 2015 order determined that the NYISO had partially complied with FERC’s previous directives in the proceeding, and directed the NYISO to submit a further compliance filing.

Specifically, the NYISO added, FERC directed the NYISO to submit two new standard agreements – a pro forma development agreement for the NYISO’s public policy transmission planning process and operating agreement for nonincumbent transmission developers that is comparable to the agreement executed by the New York Transmission Owners in 1999.

The NYISO noted that in March, it submitted the compliance filing to fulfill the directives of the December 2015 order, including a pro forma operating agreement.

The NYISO said that it discussed the proposed tariff revisions with its stakeholders on various occasions, and a number of revisions were made to the proposed tariff changes in response to stakeholders’ comments. While the open and transparent stakeholder process narrowed differences on many issues, a full consensus was not reached on all of the issues, the NYISO said.

In describing the proposed tariff revisions, the NYISO noted that Order 1000 required public utility transmission providers to provide in their regional transmission planning process a transparent and not unduly discriminatory process for selecting a proposed transmission facility in a regional transmission plan for purposes of cost allocation. FERC also required that nonincumbent transmission developers be afforded an opportunity comparable to that of an incumbent transmission developer to have their projects selected in a regional transmission plan for purposes of cost allocation.

To further implement FERC’s directives in Order 1000, public utility transmission providers in each transmission planning region were required to have a “clear enrollment process” that defines how new owners of transmission facilities become part of the transmission planning region, the NYISO added.

The NYISO said that in reviewing the open access transmission tariff (OATT) and services tariff for this filing, it found that once a new entity meets the definition of a transmission owner under the current ISO Tariffs, it will have the same rights as existing transmission owners with the exception of a few key areas.

Instances where there are differences in the treatment of a new transmission owner compared to an existing transmission owner generally occur in two ways, the NYISO said. First, there are differences between the operational capabilities of a transmission owner depending on whether they have or do not have local service provider responsibilities, and second, differences originated from the rights and obligations of then-existing transmission owners at the time of the transition from the New York Power Pool to the NYISO.

The NYISO said that it proposes to use the term “transmission owner” for those provisions that apply equally to all transmission owners regardless of whether they are a new transmission owner or a member system.

However, in the limited circumstances where the rights and obligations of transmission owners differ, the NYISO said that it proposes two categories of revisions to clarify a provision’s applicability:

  • First, where the oblications under the tariffs would not apply to new transmission owners that, for instance, do not have transmission districts or service obligations, the NYISO proposes tariff revisions to clarify how they will apply or do not apply to that type of transmission owner
  • Second, the NYISO proposes to use the term “member system” for the limited instances in the tariffs that only apply to the original eight transmission owners due to the rights and obligations resulting from the creation of the NYISO

Regarding proposed revisions related to transmission owners with local service provider responsibilities, the NYISO said that it proposes to expand the definition for “transmission district” to include any transmission owner that is obligated to serve load in a geographic area within the NYCA – not just the member systems – and clarify various provisions that would apply to any transmission owner with a transmission district.

Of proposed revisions related to transmission owners under Attachment Y of the OATT, the NYISO said that it proposes to make clarifying revisions to Section 31.6.4 in Attachment Y concerning the rights of transmission owners that were reserved under Order 1000. For instance, the NYISO said that it proposes to remove the term “incumbent” since all entities that meet the definition would each be a “transmission owner” for purposes of the NYISO’s regional planning process. Also, the NYISO proposes to further amend that section to provide that the right under Order 1000 to make upgrades to a local transmission facility and the right to retain, modify, or transfer rights of way (ROWs), subject to relevant law or regulation, applies to all transmission owners.

Regarding conforming revisions related to the use of “member systems,” the NYISO noted that the tariffs presently use the term “member system” when referencing the conditions existing at the time of the formation of the NYISO, or the transmission owners’ ongoing rights and obligations resulting from the formation of the NYISO. The proposed tariff revisions add to the definition of “member systems” by naming each of the eight transmission owners that were members of the New York Power Pool at the time that the NYISO was formed. That, the NYISO added, will result in a clear, self-contained definition of the member systems that will be used in those limited instances that apply to conditions at the NYISO’s formation or when a right or obligation pertains only to the original transmission owners that formed the NYISO.

Among other things, the NYISO said that to implement the conforming changes set forth in its filing, it first proposes additions to the pro forma operating agreement to include a comparable right and obligation for new transmission owners to provide a regulated backstop solution under its reliability planning process when identified by the NYISO as the responsible transmission owner.

As proposed in new Section 2.13 of the pro forma operating agreement, a new transmission owner that executes the agreement would have the right and obligation to provide a regulated backstop solution to an identified reliability need, when identified as the responsible transmission owner by the NYISO, together with the right to recovery of the costs for developing the solution.

The NYISO also said that in proposed Section 2.13(a) of the pro forma operating agreement, a new transmission owner would be responsible to participate in the NYISO’s reliability planning process by proposing a regulated backstop solution, when designated as the responsible transmission owner, “to address a reliability need(s) related to the transmission facilities that the NTO owns and that are subject to this agreement” as described in the reliability planning process in Attachment Y of the OATT.

Regarding proposed revisions in the NYISO’s reliability planning process, the NYISO said that consistent with the proposed revisions to the pro forma operating agreement, the NYISO proposes to clarify that a new transmission owner that executes an operating agreement is eligible to be designated as a responsible transmission owner for purposes of the NYISO’s reliability planning process. In doing so, the NYISO said, Section 31.1 of the OATT would be revised to clarify that “[t]he responsible transmission owner will normally be the transmission owner in whose transmission district the ISO identifies a reliability need and/or that owns a transmission facility on which a reliability need arises.”

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3162 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.