Eversource and National Grid on June 30 said that ISO New England (ISO-NE), after reviewing 36 bids, is proposing to adopt the companies’ proposed “Ready Path Solution” project as the preferred solution to maintain grid reliability following the retirement of the Mystic Generating Station in 2024.
The companies said that their project, with an installed cost of $49m, is below the estimated $175m annually that New England customers are paying to keep the Mystic station available, and will be built entirely within existing National Grid and Eversource facilities.
The companies noted that construction would include installing new equipment at Eversource’s existing North Cambridge substation, as well as at National Grid’s Tewksbury, Amesbury and Haverhill substations.
As noted in a presentation on the proposals that was presented on June 17 to ISO-NE’s Planning Advisory Committee (PAC), the Boston 2028 Needs Assessment (NA) Update in October 2019 identified needs for the Boston area in Massachusetts occurring more than three years in the future, which prompted the FERC Order 1000 competitive process: one N-1 115-kV line overload and three N-1-1 345-kV overloads, as well as a need-by date of June 1, 2024.
The presentation also noted that ISO-NE in December 2019 issued the Boston 2028 request for proposals (RFP) to solicit Phase One proposals, which were due on March 4. In response to that RFP, ISO-NE received 36 Phase One proposals from eight qualified transmission project sponsors (QTPSs). The presentation added that the installed cost estimates provided range from about $49m to $745m, with in-service dates ranging from March 2023 to December 2026.
To eliminate any bias during discussions at ISO-NE, the 36 Phase One proposals were randomly assigned unique IDs in the form of BOS-XXX, where XXX was an odd number assigned from 001 to 071, the presentation noted.
ISO-NE and its consultants have found that for BOS-017 — which is the Ready Path Solution — the identified needs are solved; the cost estimate is reasonable; there is no transmission line siting required; all real estate rights are in place; limited permitting is required; and the in-service date of October 2023 is reasonably achievable, according to the presentation.
“Therefore, the ISO is proposing to adopt BOS-017 as the preferred solution in the Solutions Study process,” the presentation said.
ISO-NE spokesperson Ellen Foley on July 1 told TransmissionHub: “We are continuing to collect comments from stakeholders on the draft listing of qualified proposals, and will do so until July 2. After review of stakeholders comments, we expect to post a final listing of Phase I qualifying proposals by July 17. If we stay with our recommendation, the next step would be to complete the solutions study process, which would be expedited because we have identified the preferred solution. Once that is completed, the preferred solution would become final.”
Among other things, the companies said that they have launched the project’s website, and that the public is encouraged to engage with the project team by emailing email@example.com, or calling 1-833-GB-READY.