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NYISO Selects NextEra Transmission Project to Increase Access to Hydro Power

Nov. 10, 2017
Addresses Public Policy Transmission Need in Western New York

In a decision that will support New York’s goal of maximizing the flow of energy from renewable resources in the region, the New York Independent System Operator’s Board of Directors has selected a proposal from NextEra Energy Transmission New York to address the public policy need for new transmission in Western New York. The NYISO board’s action also approves an accompanying report that details the selection process that led to the decision.

The decision represents the first selection of a transmission project by the NYISO using the Public Policy Transmission Planning Process (PPTPP) approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) under Order No. 1000. It is the culmination of a joint effort by the NYISO, the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC), developers, and stakeholders to address transmission needs in Western New York. Those needs are driven by New York State public policy requirements to more fully utilize renewable energy from the Robert Moses Niagara Hydroelectric Power Station as well as imports from Ontario.

While maximizing the flow of energy from renewable resources, the transmission upgrades are expected to provide reliability, environmental and economic benefits, including: improving transmission security, reducing emissions, and increasing consumer access to lower-cost resources.

“The cleaner, greener grid of the future will depend on a modernized, upgraded, and expanded transmission system,” said NYISO President and CEO Brad Jones. “Well-planned transmission investments and upgraded transmission capability are vital to meeting the state’s renewable public policy goals and to efficiently move power to address regional needs. We sincerely appreciate the hard work that all of the developers put into their proposals, which made for a robust competitive process.”

The recommendations in the Western NY PPTPP Report approved by the board were developed in response to a PSC Order that found “significant environmental, economic, and reliability benefits could be achieved by relieving the transmission congestion identified in Western New York.”

Pursuant to the PSC Order, the NYISO issued a solicitation for proposals to address the Western NY Need. Developers submitted 12 proposed projects and the NYISO identified 10 viable and sufficient projects from five developers. The Western NY PPTPP Report describes the extensive comparative evaluations performed for the proposed transmission projects, culminating in the NYISO’s recommendations for ranking and selection of NextEra’s Empire State Line as the more efficient or cost-effective transmission solution.

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