In the 2005 Energy Policy Act, Congress directed the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to study the status and needs of the nation’s electric transmission infrastructure every three years. DOE published studies in 2006, 2009, and most recently September 2015. The latest National Electric Transmission Congestion Study, which began in 2012, found low levels of transmission congestion in the Northeast attributable to generation and transmission additions made in recent years, particularly in New England and PJM. Lower demand for electricity following the most recent economic downturn, as well as investments in energy efficiency and demand response also contributed to the reduction in congestion.
Entries in transmission planning (23)
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and representatives from the electric industry met to discuss regional energy challenges at the 2015 Regional System Plan Public Meeting at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston on September 10, 2015. ISO New England holds the meeting annually to review the draft Regional System Plan, a comprehensive report on the status of the region’s power grid and trends for the next 10 years.
634 projects put into service since 2002 to fortify New England’s transmission system
The ISO recently published the June 2015 update to the Regional System Plan (RSP) Project List, which details Pool Transmission Facility (PTF) projects needed to ensure reliability in New England. The report lists 13 new projects and 25 projects placed into service since the March 2015 update, including 13 completed for the Maine Power Reliability Program (MPRP).
609 projects put into service since 2002 to fortify New England’s transmission system
The ISO recently published the March 2015 update to the Regional System Plan (RSP) Project List, which details Pool Transmission Facility (PTF) projects needed to ensure reliability in New England. The report listed 34 projects placed into service from October 2014 to March 2015, including nine for the Maine Power Reliability Program (MPRP).
New mechanisms for ETUs now in effect
On April 14, 2015, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission accepted proposed changes to rules related to Elective Transmission Upgrades (ETUs)—merchant-funded transmission interconnections in New England.
ISO New England has selected the Eversource (formerly Northeast Utilities) and National Grid alternating current (AC) transmission proposal as the preferred transmission solution to bolster the region’s power grid in the Greater Boston area to ensure continued reliability into the future. The all-AC proposal was chosen over another proposal supported by New Hampshire Transmission (NHT), which included the use of both AC and underwater, high-voltage direct current (HVDC) components. The AC plan was ultimately selected because it is significantly less expensive and also because it is superior when other performance criteria are considered.