National Grid RFP seeks non-wires alternatives solutions in Erie County, N.Y.

Niagara Mohawk Power d/b/a National Grid on Dec. 18 filed with the New York State Public Service Commission a request for proposal (RFP) for non-wires alternatives (NWA) solutions for an area of electrical stress served by the Sawyer 11H Sub-Transmission Line located in Erie County, to be formally issued by Dec. 19.

The loading at the company’s 11H Sub-Transmission Line serving the Buffalo area has increased to a level at which it is projected to be overloaded to 100% or higher of its emergency rating – given an outage on one of the substation transformer banks. The RFP added that the company is evaluating alternatives to reduce the area load in order to maintain or improve reliability performance. This project is located in the New York ISO (NYISO) Load Zone A, the RFP said, adding that National Grid is seeking NWA solutions that could potentially provide delivery infrastructure avoidance value or other reliability and operational benefits.

As noted in the RFP, an NWA solution is any strategy that addresses an electrical system need, such as peak demand management or reliability, with a solution that does not involve building new transmission and distribution (T&D) lines or substation infrastructure. NWA solutions can be any one type or combination of distributed energy resources (DER), such as energy efficiency (EE), demand response (DR), energy storage systems (ESS), or distributed generation (DG), that can be deployed individually or as a portfolio.

The RFP added that it seeks to identify third-party provided NWA solutions, and that the ideal bidders have a planned project, or an existing project that can be adapted or expanded, that would participate in New York’s energy market, located in the company’s geographic area of need.

Under “solution requirements,” the company said that the technical requirements involve maintaining loading on the Sawyer 11H Line under the summer emergency rating; needed are 1.7 MW of load relief from 2020-2030, with an in-service date of June 2020.

The maximum megawatt hours needed per day are 9.6 MWh, for a lifetime of at least 10 years, the RFP said.

The company is seeking to enter into either an energy services agreement (ESA) with the selected bidder(s) for a portion of the energy – or other DER services – provided by their project(s) to meet the company’s identified electrical system need(s) as described in the RFP and/or a construction services agreement with the selected bidder(s) whereby bidders would build and sell a turnkey solution to National Grid to meet its electric system need(s).

The RFP also noted that it is open to all NWA approaches that have the potential to provide NWA solutions in the identified area(s). National Grid has several long-term goals in consideration – in alignment with state, federal, and internal ambitions – that impact the viability of any given proposal, including the:

  • Company’s “Northeast 80×50 Pathway,” which is a greenhouse gas emissions reduction blueprint
  • New York’s goal to integrate 1,500 MW of energy storage by 2025
  • Other goals associated with New York’s Reforming the Energy Vision strategy

Bidders are encouraged to team up to offer a portfolio solution using multiple technologies, sizes, and implementation schedules, if that would provide the best value proposition. The RFP also said that proposed solutions that meet all of the requirements stipulated in the RFP are preferable, either provided by a single vendor or through a proposed portfolio partnership specified in the proposal. Partial solutions that provide a reasonable portion of the solution may be considered where National Grid can independently identify other partners to create a full solution, the RFP said.

According to the RFP schedule, RFP responses are due on Feb. 19, 2019.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3286 Articles
Corina Rivera-Linares was TransmissionHub’s chief editor until August 2021, as well as part of the team that established TransmissionHub in 2011. Before joining TransmissionHub, Corina covered renewable energy and environmental issues, as well as transmission, generation, regulation, legislation and ISO/RTO matters at SNL Financial from 2005 to 2011. She has also covered such topics as health, politics, and education for weekly newspapers and national magazines.