Competitive transmission solicitation improvements accepted by FERC

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has accepted changes to ISO New England’s Tariff meant to improve the region’s competitive transmission planning process under FERC Order 1000.

The changes were borne out of “lessons learned” discussions with stakeholders following a request for proposals (RFP) issued to find solutions to address power system reliability needs in the Boston area resulting from the scheduled retirement of the Mystic Generating Station in 2024.

Following the Boston RFP, the ISO held individual meetings with the developers who participated in the solicitation process. The ISO also gathered feedback from and discussed potential improvements for future solicitations with the Planning Advisory Committee.

These discussions led the ISO to propose a number of changes to the process, which were accepted by FERC on February 25, 2022.

Among the changes are new rules allowing developers to propose solutions for some or all of the needs identified in an RFP. Under the previous rules, each proposal was required to solve all identified needs. If possible, the ISO will combine individual proposals that do not solve all the needs together to create a comprehensive solution.

The new rules also allow for joint proposals, provided all parties are qualified to participate. Previously, joint proposals were only permitted for the backstop transmission solution (a required proposal from the participating transmission owner or owners to solve the issues identified on their existing system). The changes were widely supported throughout the stakeholder process, and the New England Power Pool (NEPOOL) joined ISO New England in filing them with FERC. The changes became effective on February 28, 2022.

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