ISO New England (ISO-NE), in an Oct. 25 ISO Newswire post, said that it recently published the October 2017 update to the Regional System Plan (RSP) Project List, which details Pool Transmission Facility (PTF) projects needed to ensure reliability in New England.
Since a June update, 16 upgrades were placed in service, no new projects were added, and no major changes to project cost estimates occurred, ISO-NE said.
Since 2002, a cumulative total of 746 project components representing an investment of $10bn have been placed into service to help ensure that the region’s transmission system continues to reliably and efficiently move wholesale electricity across the region, ISO-NE said.
As of this month, the update presentation lists 120 active projects across the six New England states, including 51 projects under construction; 47 planned projects; and 22 proposed projects, ISO-NE said.
The estimated cost of active future projects through 2021 totals about $2.3bn, the ISO said.
According to the update presentation, major cost estimate changes that occurred between the June and October project list include that the project cost for the Connecticut River Valley Project in Vermont decreased (cost reduction $9.8m).
As noted on Vermont Electric Power Company’s website, that project consists of a combination of transmission line and substation upgrades:
- Rebuild 15 miles of existing 115-kV transmission line from Coolidge to Ascutney
- Reconductor 18 miles of 46-kV sub transmission lines (Middlebury, Bethel, Windsor areas) by Green Mountain Power
- Addition of a ring bus at the Chelsea substation
- Addition of a new bay and a reactive device at the Ascutney substation
- Addition of a 12.5 MVAr capacitor bank at the Hartford substation and reduction of the existing capacitor bank to 12.5 MVAr
The update presentation also noted that the 16 upgrades on the project list that have been placed in service since the June update include:
- Project ID # 1221, which has a cost of $94m, and involves modifying the Northfield Mountain 16R substation and installing a 345/115-kV autotransformer in Massachusetts (Pittsfield/Greenfield Project); the project resolves voltage and thermal violations
- Project ID # 1223, which is part of Project ID #1221, and involves building a new 115-kV line from Northfield Mountain to the new Erving switching station
- Project ID # 1572, which has a cost of $27.5m, and involves rebuilding a portion of the 1682 line from Wilton to Norwalk and upgrading the Wilton substation terminal equipment in Connecticut (SWCT); the project resolves thermal violations
- Project ID # 1555, the Housatonic River Crossing 88006A and 89006B 115-kV line rebuild project – Housatonic River between Milford and Stratford, in Connecticut; the project has a cost of $19.8m, and addresses asset condition concerns for line sections in “SWCT”
In its ISO Newswire post, ISO-NE said that transmission system upgrades help ensure that the region can count on the electricity it needs; help lower wholesale electricity costs; and enable the development and use of cleaner energy resources.
Among other things, the ISO also noted 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; as well as allows older and more expensive generators to retire.