ISO New England (ISO-NE) on April 4 said that its recently published March 2017 update to the Regional System Plan (RSP) Project List shows that since the October 2016 update, three projects were cancelled; 24 upgrades were placed in service across Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont; and 27 new projects were added.
The list details Pool Transmission Facility (PTF) projects needed to ensure reliability in New England, ISO-NE said in its ISO Newswire post.
As of March, the update presentation lists 153 active projects across all six New England states, including 58 projects under construction, 63 planned projects, and 32 proposed projects, ISO-NE said, adding that the estimated cost of active future projects through 2021 totals about $4bn.
According to that presentation, these projects in Connecticut are no longer needed and are cancelled:
- Project 1569, which involved looping the 1990 line in and out of the Bunker Hill substation, at a cost of $0.3m; the primary equipment owner listed in the March 2017 update is Eversource Energy (NYSE:ES)
- Project 1571, which involved rebuilding Bunker Hill to a nine breaker substation in breaker and a half configuration, at a cost of $35.5m; the primary equipment owner listed is also Eversource
- Project 1579, which involved separating 3827-1610 DCT (0.38 miles), at a cost of $2m; the primary equipment owner listed is also Eversource
The presentation also noted that the 27 new projects include the $7.5m Greater Boston Stability Project (Project 1738) in Massachusetts, which was added after a System Impact Study determined that the Chelsea station needed to be built to certain standards, as well as the $60m Seafood Way Substation project (Project 1739) that is also in Massachusetts. According to the presentation, the addition of that new substation is needed to address area load growth. The primary equipment owner listed for both of those projects in the March 2017 update is Eversource. Project 1738 has a projected in-service date of December 2019, while Project 1739 has a projected in-service date of December 2018, according to the March 2017 update.
Other new projects among those 27 projects include the:
- $43.8m project (Project ID #1714) in Massachusetts that involves the “New Grand Army 115-kV GIS switching station, remote terminal station work and loop E-183E, F-184, X3 and W4 lines” – the project is needed to resolve thermal overloads; the primary equipment owner listed in the March 2017 update is National Grid USA, and the projected in-service date is November 2020
- $36m project (Project ID # 1725) in Massachusetts that involves building a new Bourne #917 to West Barnstable #921 115-kV line and associated terminal work – that project is needed to resolve thermal overloads and avoid voltage collapse; the primary equipment owner listed is Eversource and the projected in-service date is December 2021
- $19.6m project (Project ID #1728) in Massachusetts that involves building a new Carver to Kingston #735 115-kV line and Carver terminal – the project is needed to resolve thermal overloads; the primary equipment owner listed is Eversource and the projected in-service date is December 2021
The presentation further noted that the 24 upgrades on the project list that have been placed in service since the October 2016 update include the:
- $70.7m Blair Pond Substation project (Project ID #1207) in Massachusetts that involved building a new 115-kV substation, and is needed to increase load serving capability to Belmont; the primary equipment owner listed for that project in the March 2017 update is Eversource, while the “other equipment owner” that is listed is the Belmont Municipal Light Department
- $45.4m Tewksbury 22A 345-kV GIS Substation rebuild project in Massachusetts (Project ID #1395) – the project is needed to resolve asset condition issues and to improve reliability as well as flexibility for expansion; the primary equipment owner listed is National Grid USA
- $30.9m Milvon to Devon Tie 88005A-89005B 115-kV Line Upgrade project in Connecticut (Project ID # 1384) – the project is needed to resolve thermal overloads; the primary equipment owner listed is United Illuminating Company
ISO-NE said that since 2002, a cumulative total of 714 project components representing an investment of $8.4bn have been placed into service to help ensure that New England’s transmission system continues to reliably and efficiently move wholesale electricity across the region.
ISO-NE also said that in addition to helping ensure that the region can count on the electricity that it needs, transmission system upgrades also help lower wholesale electricity costs, as well as enable the development and use of cleaner energy resources. ISO-NE said that improving the movement of electricity across the region and into areas of limited transmission and high demand allows more competition among generators; reduces congestion charges in the energy market; reduces the need for expensive generator reliability agreements; reduces out-of-market generator dispatch payments; and allows older and more expensive generators to retire, making way for cleaner, more efficient, and less expensive resources.
Among other things, ISO-NE said that energy efficiency savings – when coupled with new generators and other transmission upgrades – may allow the region to defer certain transmission projects deemed necessary to address reliability needs.
ISO-NE further noted that with their continued expansion, solar photovoltaic resources and other forms of distributed generation may also one day be able to alleviate or prevent constraints in regional power system transmission or distribution, as well as reduce or eliminate the need to install new transmission or distribution facilities.
Furthermore, ISO-NE said, market resource alternatives (MRAs), like new generators or demand response resources, may in some cases be able to help alleviate transmission needs. ISO-NE said that it has performed MRA analysis on select portions of the system to help signal to developers and stakeholders when those opportunities exist.