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Wednesday
Jul102019

Work underway on ISO-NE’s first Order 1000 RFP

Retirement of Mystic Generating Station will cause transmission needs in the Boston area

ISO New England plans to issue its first competitive solicitation for transmission to address transmission needs caused by the retirement of the Mystic Generating Station in the mid-2020s.

During the lead-up to the 13th Forward Capacity Auction, Exelon sought to retire the Mystic Generating Station, located just outside of Boston, in June 2022. Though the ISO retained two of the Mystic units under rules that permit retentions for fuel-security reasons, they will retire no later than June 1, 2024.

Following the initial retirement request, ISO New England began studying whether the closure of the station, one of the largest power plants in New England and located in the region’s greatest demand area, would cause any transmission needs in the Greater Boston area through 2028.

Based on the results of this study, the ISO has announced plans to issue its first request for proposals (RFP) for a competitively-selected regulated transmission solution, pursuant to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Order 1000. The competitive process addresses non-time-sensitive transmission needs; the study also found some time-sensitive needs that will be addressed outside of this process.

Enacted by FERC in 2011, Order 1000 introduced a competitive selection process for certain regulated transmission upgrades, allowing for the possibility of more creative solutions, and created a mechanism for consideration and development of transmission projects driven by public policies.

Under a competitive process, qualified transmission developers are allowed to submit proposals to meet the needs identified by the ISO. The ISO will then review all the proposals in a two-step process before ultimately picking the preferred solution.

In preparation for issuing the Greater Boston RFP, the ISO is proposing several minor refinements to the ISO New England Inc. Transmission, Markets, and Services Tariff, all of which are being discussed at the Planning Advisory Committee and the NEPOOL technical committees before being filed with FERC. The ISO has also released the draft RFP templates that will be used in competitive transmission solicitations.

A final RFP is expected to be issued in late 2019 or early 2020.