ISO-NE to provide update on RFP for Boston area transmission upgrades; proposed next steps
On June 17, ISO New England will update the Planning Advisory Committee (PAC) on the review process for the request for proposal (RFP) issued in December to address transmission needs in the Boston area caused by the retirement of the Mystic Generating Station.
Eight different developers submitted 36 proposals, ranging from $49 million to $745 million, as part of the first phase of the competitive solicitation. The ISO reviewed each of these proposals to ensure they addressed the identified reliability needs, while meeting other requirements. Throughout the solicitation process, the ISO has said that the two most important factors are cost and speed to construct and interconnect.
Ultimately, five proposals addressed the needs for a reliable power system and met all other requirements. The ISO then compared these projects’ costs, which ranged from $49 million to $121 million. Given that the $49 million project is significantly less expensive (the next least expensive proposal is for $94 million), the ISO is recommending that the other four projects not advance to the second phase of review, as it is unlikely that further review would lead to their selection. Development costs incurred during the second phase of review are charged to ratepayers, so not advancing projects that are unlikely to be selected is a savings for ratepayers.
The ISO is proposing to move forward with development of the $49 million proposal, known as BOS-017 for the randomly-assigned unique ID given to the project during the review process. The ISO will discuss this proposal in more detail at the June 17 PAC meeting and solicit feedback from stakeholders.
Enacted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Order 1000 is a framework for transmission development through a competitive process. This RFP was issued late last year under part of Order 1000 that addresses transmission upgrades needed for system reliability, allowing for the possibility of more creative solutions. A separate part of Order 1000 allows for competitive transmission solutions to achieve public policy goals.