by Paul Ciampoli
APPA News Director
Posted April 11, 2019
The New York Independent System Operator’s Board of Directors on April 8 announced the selection of a transmission project proposed by the New York Power Authority and LS Power Grid New York LLC.
The NYPA/LS Power Grid New York project was one of two transmission projects selected by the NYISO board. “The selected transmission 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 in a news release.
LS Power Grid New York was formerly known as North America Transmission LLC.
Pursuant to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Order No. 1000 and the NYISO’s public policy transmission planning process, the New York State Public Service Commission 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.
In order to provide additional capability to move power from upstate to downstate, the New York 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 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 board found that a joint proposal by LS Power Grid New York and NYPA was the more efficient or cost-effective solution for Segment A. For Segment B, the board found that the more efficient or cost-effective solution was a joint proposal by National Grid and New York Transco LLC.
The NYISO said 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.
“The New York Power Authority is pleased LS Power Grid New York’s proposed transmission project, in which NYPA is participating as a minority stakeholder, has been approved by the New York Independent System Operator,” said Gil Quiniones, NYPA President and CEO.
He said that the transmission upgrade complements several other major NYPA transmission efforts, including the currently underway Smart Path in Northern New York and the completed and operational Marcy South Series Compensation project.
Quiniones said that these projects are coming to life as realizations of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s NY Energy Highway Blueprint, released in 2012, as a plan designed to enable more effective and efficient clean energy power flows across the state’s electric grid and foster more robust energy markets.
“The NYISO Board’s approval paves the way for a new set of cost effective, efficient transmission upgrades,” Quiniones said.
LS Power on April 9 noted that it is planning to submit an application to the New York PSC in the second half of 2019. “Only after a full review and authorization by the Commission, including numerous opportunities for additional public participation, would LS Power be authorized to start construction – targeted for late 2020,” it said.
An executive summary of the board’s decision, which includes additional details on the selected projects, is available here.
Cuomo announces up to $30 million is available for grid modernization
Meanwhile, Cuomo on April 9 announced up to $30 million is available to support projects to improve the resiliency, flexibility, and integration of renewable energy resources onto New York's electric grid.
Project proposals will be evaluated based on how they improve overall grid performance, reduce energy costs and support the state's clean energy goals to combat climate change, Cuomo’s office said.
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is administering the initiative through its “High Performing Grid” program that seeks proposals from electric grid technology companies, New York's utilities, universities, and researchers, to advance smart grid technologies.
Additional information about this funding is available on NYSERDA's website.