Noting that it has recently published the March 2018 update to the Regional System Plan (RSP) Project List, ISO New England (ISO-NE) on March 29 said that since an October 2017 update, 22 upgrades were placed in service and no new projects were added.
The RSP Project List details Pool Transmission Facility (PTF) projects needed to ensure reliability in New England, ISO-NE said.
Since 2002, a cumulative total of 768 project components representing an investment of $10.4bn 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 said.
As of March, the update presentation lists 98 active projects across all six New England states, including 38 projects under construction, 38 planned projects, and 22 proposed projects, ISO-NE said.
The estimated cost of active future projects through 2021 is under $2bn, ISO-NE said.
According to the update presentation, major cost estimate changes that occurred between the October 2017 and March Project List include the “Central Western Massachusetts Upgrades – Project 945 – Adams,” which saw a “cost increase $11.9m,” and involves installing two new 115-kV breakers and replacing two existing 115-kV breakers and associated line relocations. The cost changes are due to an enhanced understanding of the multiple site condition impacts on the construction plan, according to the presentation.
Also, the “Pittsfield/Greenfield – Projects 1662, 1664, 1665, and 1663,” saw a “cost reduction $12.3m” due to project cost alignments, the presentation noted.
The presentation noted that the 22 upgrades on the project list that have been placed in service since the October 2017 update include six “Greater Boston” projects, including a new 345-kV line from Scobie-Tewksbury.
In its March 29 “ISO Newswire” post, 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.
Energy usage, peak demand will decline over next 10 years
Separately, ISO-NE on March 29 said that its draft long-term forecast for 2018 to 2027 projects that energy usage and peak demand will decline slightly in the region over the 10-year period, with the primary factors being continuing installation of energy efficiency measures and behind-the-meter photovoltaic (BTM PV) arrays throughout New England.
ISO-NE said that the draft nameplate forecast projects that about 3,442 MW of cumulative BTM PV will be added over the next 10 years, totaling about 5,833 MW installed in the region in 2027.
The long-term forecast for electricity use is developed each year using state and regional economic forecasts, 40 years of weather history in New England, federal appliance efficiency standards, the results of ISO-NE’s energy efficiency (EE) forecast and solar photovoltaic (PV) forecast, and other factors, ISO-NE said.
The draft 2018 gross forecast – without the effects of EE and PV – projects a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 0.9% in total energy usage in the region, from 142,488 GWh in 2018, to 154,364 GWh in 2027, ISO-NE said.
When the preliminary EE and PV forecast estimates are taken into account, net energy usage is expected to drop by a CAGR of -0.9%, from 124,252 GWh in 2018, to 114,981 GWh in 2027, ISO-NE said.
Peak gross demand is projected in the draft gross forecast to rise by a CAGR of 0.8%, from 29,060 MW in 2018, to an estimated 31,192 MW in 2027, with normal summer weather conditions, ISO-NE said. However, when the demand-reducing effects of PV and EE are taken into account, the draft net forecast projects that peak demand will fall by about -0.4% annually over the 10-year period, from 25,729 MW to 24,912 MW, ISO-NE said.
If extreme summer weather were to occur, preliminary numbers indicate net peak demand could decline by an average of about 0.2% annually, from 28,120 MW to 27,548 MW, ISO-NE said.
Among other things, ISO-NE said that the draft EE forecast projects that EE will cut about 281 MW, on average, off summer peak demand each year of the forecast period. ISO-NE also said that the net forecast projects declining peak demand in extreme winter conditions, from 21,057 MW in 2018, to 19,833 MW in 2027, for a CAGR of -0.7%.