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NYISO forwards 12 transmission proposals to help New York integrate 50% renewables

The New YorkISO forwarded to the New York Public Service Commission 12"proposals for transmission needs" to help meet the state's goal of procuring50% of its electricity from renewables and cutting emissions 40% from 1990levels by 2030.

The grid operator had previously that meeting Gov. Andrew Cuomo'sclean energy standard would likely require nearly 1,000 miles of new bulktransmission lines, and the 12 projects reflect that requirement.

One of the proposals, all of which were dated Oct. 3, wasdeveloped jointly by the New YorkPower Authority, National Grid plc subsidiary andFortis Inc.subsidiary Central Hudson Gas& Electric Corp. to overcome bottlenecks that limit Canadianimports, stymie upstate renewable generation, and prevent hydropower in the St.Lawrence region from reaching downstate load centers.

The three utilities warned that the possible addition ofmore than 1,000 MW of new wind projects in northern New York, more imports fromCanada and further load reductions "could exacerbate transmissionconstraints" and even discourage renewable development by worseninginefficiencies and lowering price signals.

A proposal developed by Hydro-Québec's American subsidiary, H.Q. Energy ServicesInc., said a new 1,000-MW direct-current line could deliver up to 8.7 TWh ofclean energy to New York, or nearly one third of the estimated 29 TWh neededunder the clean energy standard.

"New or expanded transmission interconnections betweenQuébec and New York will also allow New York to leverage the dispatchablecharacteristics of HQ's hydropower fleet in order to more efficiently integrateintermittent renewables into the grid, and maintain bulk system reliabilitywhile transitioning to a supply mix comprised of 50% renewable energy,"Hydro-Québec said.

NextEra EnergyInc.'s New York transmission subsidiary stressed the importance oftreating nonincumbent developers fairly in transmission solicitations. Thedeveloper said the NYISO should only evaluate the primary component of aproposal for a greenfield solution and that right-of-way ownership should notbe a distinguishing factor in choosing a proposal.

"Nonincumbent transmission developers are not privy tothe same information as the incumbent transmissionowner, and are at a disadvantage when proposing … 'secondary' solutions,"NextEra asserted. "Therefore, in the event that primary solutions proposedare similar enough, secondary upgrades (especially if to be done by incumbent)should be excluded from evaluation."

New York City argued for a "more holisticapproach" that broadly examines how to move large quantities of power fromupstate to downstate load centers. "Indeed, identifying a singletransmission line, or a segment of a line, as a need driven by public policyrequirements is insufficient to achieve the state's public policy goals, andsuch a piecemeal approach could effectively prevent timely achievement of thosegoals," the city said. On top of Cuomo's clean energy standard andreforming the energy vision strategy, New York City is seeking to procure morethan 70% of its electricity from renewables as a means of meeting a citywide emissionsreduction target of 80% by 2050.

Public ServiceEnterprise Group Inc. subsidiary PSEG Long Island LLC called on regulators to focus onthe development of offshore wind resources to meet New York's transmissionneeds. PSEG Long Island operates the transmission and distribution area for theLong Island Power Authority,which is expected to move forward with plans to facilitate the state's first,and the nation's largest, offshore wind farm now that New York has released itsblueprint to developup to 39 GW of offshore wind.

In addition, Anbaric Holding subsidiary Poseidon Transmission 1 isseeking to deliver electricity to Long Island via its 79-mile, high-voltage,direct-current Poseidon transmission project. The largely underwater and underground cablewould stretch from South Brunswick, N.J., to Melville, N.Y., and connect thePJM InterconnectionLLC with the NYISO's Zone K.

Other proposals were filed by , , subsidiary , , subsidiary PPL TranslinkInc. and a group of transmission-owning utilities in the state in a jointfiling with the New York PowerAuthority. (Case No. 16-E-0558)