NYISO, PJM, and ISO New England interregional committee releases 2015 Northeast Coordinated System Plan

No new needs for interregional transmission projects identified

The tie lines interconnecting neighboring electric power systems allow the systems to exchange electric energy and capacity, facilitating access to a greater diversity of resources and the more economic exchange of energy. Identifying the need for interregional transmission projects and regional system reinforcements, quantifying their possible benefits and other impacts, and resolving planning issues with potential cross-border effects can enhance the reliability and efficiency of the power system overall. The New York Independent System Operator (NYISO), ISO New England (ISO-NE), and PJM (i.e., the Regional Transmission Organization [RTO] for all or parts of 13 eastern and Midwestern states and the District of Columbia) work collaboratively to coordinate the planning of their interconnected systems. On April 11, 2016, the ISO/RTOs released the 2015 Northeast Coordinated System Plan (NCSP15), which summarizes the group’s 2014 and 2015 interregional planning efforts.

Interregional planning activities

NCSP15 reports that as of December 15, 2015, the joint activities of NYISO, PJM, and ISO New England for 2014 and 2015 did not identify the need for any new interregional transmission facilities, and no new interconnections between the systems were approved. However, previously approved new interconnections between PJM and NYISO were established during the past two years. A new 345/115 kV interconnection between PJM and NYISO was placed in service in November 2015, which established a new tie point near the central Pennsylvania border with New York, and a second new tie point project in the same general geographic area is expected to go into service in June 2016. 

A main focus of NCSP15 is the regions’ joint compliance with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) Order No. 1000, which addresses interregional transmission planning and cost allocation. The report summarizes the order’s interregional requirements as well as each region’s overall planning approach, which the ISO/RTOs are revising to conform to the order. The document also compares the timing of each region’s key interregional planning activities for identifying and evaluating reliability, economic, and public policy needs and solutions. Additionally, NCSP15 summarizes other national and interregional activities the neighboring areas participate in with the North American Electric Reliability Corporation and its regional entities—the Northeast Power Coordinating Council  and ReliabilityFirst Corporation—and other planning areas in the United States and Canada.

Interregional planning protocol

To better coordinate their collaborative planning efforts for the interconnected system and studies of projects with potential cross-border impacts, ISO-NE, NYISO, and PJM follow the Amended and Restated Northeastern ISO/RTO Planning Coordination Protocol. The protocol, first implemented in 2004, was amended in 2015 to address the requirements of Order No. 1000. Through the Joint ISO/RTO Planning Committee (JIPC) and its open stakeholder group, called the Interregional Planning Stakeholder Advisory Committee (IPSAC), the three entities adhere to the protocol to address and discuss interregional system needs and proposed system improvements. In addition to specific ongoing projects, recent IPSAC and JIPC meetings have discussed resource retirements and diversity, environmental compliance, and the integration of distributed and variable energy resources. 

The next IPSAC meeting scheduled for May 9, 2016; interested parties can register at the PJM IPSAC registration page. IPSAC membership is open to all members of ISO-NE’s Planning Advisory Committee (PAC); they do not require any further actions to receive meeting notices or access to all materials. To join the PAC, complete the PAC Access Request Form.

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