NYISO board selects public policy projects proposed by LS Power, NYPA; National Grid, New York Transco

The New York ISO (NYISO) on April 8 said that its board of directors has selected two transmission projects to meet public policy needs, with one project proposed by North America Transmission (NAT) and the New York Power Authority (NYPA), and the other one proposed by Niagara Mohawk Power d/b/a National Grid and New York Transco, LLC.

The selected projects will benefit consumers by increasing delivery of environmentally desirable power to meet state energy goals, relieving congestion, and replacing aging infrastructure to bolster system reliability and resilience, the NYISO said. The projects will add the largest amount of free-flowing transmission capacity to the state’s grid in more than 30 years, the NYISO said.

Under FERC’s Order No. 1000 and the NYISO’s Public Policy Transmission Planning Process (PPTPP), the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) identified the need to expand the state’s AC transmission capability to deliver additional power from generating facilities located in upstate New York, including renewable resources, to the population centers located downstate, the NYISO said.

To provide additional capability to move power from upstate to downstate, the PSC identified the Public Policy Transmission Needs to increase transfer capability from central to eastern New York by at least 350 MW (Segment A) and from the Albany region through the Hudson Valley region by at least 900 MW (Segment B), the NYISO said. The planning process requires the NYISO board to evaluate proposals in response to the PSC’s declared need and select the more efficient or cost-effective solutions, the NYISO noted.

The board found that the joint proposal by NAT and NYPA was the more efficient or cost-effective solution for Segment A, the NYISO said, adding that for Segment B, the board found that the more efficient or cost-effective solution was the joint proposal by National Grid and Transco. The NYISO said that its evaluation and selection process includes the engagement of an independent consultant to review each proposed project and apply a consistent methodology across all projects for establishing cost and schedule estimates, as well as routing assessments.

NYISO Interim President and CEO Robert Fernandez said in the statement, in part, “After a thoughtful and deliberative process, the NYISO Board arrived at a solution that will alleviate congestion, help deliver power where it is needed most, and aid the state in meeting its ambitious renewable energy goals.”

Discussing Segment A, the NYISO said that the Central East Project by NAT and NYPA involves construction of a new 345-kV line from Edic to New Scotland on existing right of way (ROW) – primarily using Edic to Rotterdam ROW west of Princetown; construction of two new 345-kV lines from Princetown to Rotterdam on existing Edic to Rotterdam ROW; decommissioning of two 230-kV lines from Edic to Rotterdam; and related switching or substation work at Edic, Princetown, Rotterdam, and New Scotland.

Of Segment B, the NYISO said that the UPNY/SENY Project by National Grid and Transco involves different areas of focus:

  • Knickerbocker to Pleasant Valley – Construction of a new double-circuit, 345-kV/115-kV line from Knickerbocker to Churchtown on existing Greenbush to Pleasant Valley ROW; construction of a new double-circuit, 345-kV/115-kV line from Churchtown to Pleasant Valley on existing Greenbush to Pleasant Valley ROW; decommissioning of a double-circuit, 115-kV line from Knickerbocker to Churchtown; decommissioning of two double-circuit, 115-kV lines from Knickerbocker to Pleasant Valley; construction of a new tap of the New Scotland-Alps 345-kV line and new Knickerbocker switching station; related switching or substation work at the Greenbush, Knickerbocker, Churchtown and Pleasant Valley substations
  • Upgrades to the Rock Tavern substation – New line traps, relays, potential transformer upgrades, switch upgrades, system control upgrades, and the installation of data acquisition measuring equipment and control wire needed to handle higher line currents that will result as a consequence of the new Edic/Marcy to New Scotland, Princetown to Rotterdam and Knickerbocker to Pleasant Valley lines
  • Shoemaker to Sugarloaf – Construction of a new double-circuit, 138-kV line from Shoemaker to Sugarloaf on existing Shoemaker to Sugarloaf ROW; decommissioning of a double-circuit, 69-kV line from Shoemaker to Sugarloaf; related switching or substation work at Shoemaker, Hartley, South Goshen, Chester, and Sugarloaf

The NYISO said that these are the second and third transmission projects to go through the PPTPP. As TransmissionHub reported, the NYISO in October 2017 said that its board has selected the “Empire State Line Proposal” from NextEra Energy’s (NYSE:NEE) NextEra Energy Transmission New York to address the public policy need for new transmission in western New York.

Discussing next steps, the NYISO said that the individual selected developers are responsible for submitting their projects to the appropriate governmental agencies and authorities to obtain approvals and permits to site, build, and operate the projects, including the PSC’s process for siting of major utility transmission facilities under Article VII of the Public Service Law.

The NYISO also said that it will work with the developers to enter into agreements for the development and operation of the projects, including a schedule for siting, permitting, interconnection, construction, and other milestones for entry into service by December 2023.

Companies respond

LS Power, in an April 9 statement, noted that the selected project – proposed by LS Power Grid New York, LLC (formerly known as NAT) and NYPA – includes upgrading existing electric system facilities and rebuilding aging existing transmission lines from the Edic substation in Marcy to New Scotland. LS Power said that the project consists of about 100 miles of upgraded electric transmission lines and two substations.

An LS Power spokesperson on April 9 told TransmissionHub that the two substations involved with the “Edic to New Scotland Upgrade Project” are the Princetown substation and the Rotterdam 345-kV substation. NYISO’s independent consultant estimated the total cost of the project to be about $750m, the spokesperson said.

LS Power said in its statement that it plans to submit an application to the PSC in the second half of 2019. If the commission authorizes the project, LS Power would begin construction, which is targeted for late 2020.

New York Transco spokesperson John Maserjian on April 9 told TransmissionHub that the purpose of the “New York Energy Solution (NYES)” project developed by New York Transco and National Grid is to relieve congestion and open a path for renewables on the bulk power electric transmission system in the Hudson Valley region.

The project stays within existing utility ROW and replaces aging infrastructure to support the state’s economic and environmental priorities, he said, adding that key components include a new switching station in Schodack; a new 54-mile, 345-kV, overhead transmission line from Schodack to Pleasant Valley, N.Y.; and an upgraded Churchtown switching station in Claverack. The project stays within existing utility ROWs and replaces nearly 80-year-old “transmission assets located in the upper to mid-Hudson Valley with streamlined, modernized technology,” Maserjian said. “Pending regulatory approvals under New York’s Article VII process, anticipated construction is expected to take two years, with an anticipated in-service date at the end of 2023.” 

He also said that the cost estimated determined by the NYISO for the core project is $479m, and that other costs, including network upgrades and transmission work in Orange County, N.Y., will be determined by the NYISO.

He noted that New York Transco is owned by subsidiaries of Consolidated Edison (NYSE:ED), National Grid, Avangrid (NYSE:AGR), and CH Energy Group.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 2807 Articles
Corina Rivera-Linares, chief editor for TransmissionHub, has covered the U.S. power industry for the past 13 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 corinar@pennwell.com.