FERC accepts ISO-NE proposal for state-requested, longer-term transmission planning process
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has approved a process for ISO New England to, at the request of the New England states, perform long-term transmission planning analyses that identify, at a high level, the transmission infrastructure needed to meet a New England state’s energy policies, mandates, or legal requirements.
The process accepted by FERC represents the first phase of a two-part effort to address the New England states’ transmission planning recommendations, as expressed through the New England States Committee on Electricity (NESCOE), in the October 2020 New England States’ Vision for a Clean, Affordance, and Reliable 21st Century Regional Electric Grid.
Under the approved rules, the states, through NESCOE, will be able to request analyses that look at transmission infrastructure needed to meet state policy goals beyond the typical 10-year planning horizon. NESCOE will provide the ISO with scenarios, inputs, assumptions, and timeframes, and the ISO will conduct the analysis. Study requests and results will be posted to the ISO New England website and discussed at the Planning Advisory Committee (PAC).
The changes received overwhelming regional stakeholder support through the New England Power Pool (NEPOOL) and NESCOE. They provide a mechanism for the states to request the ISO perform studies like the 2050 Transmission Study, which is currently underway and is looking at the transmission infrastructure needed to meet consumer demand, while satisfying reliability requirements, in the years 2035, 2040, and 2050.
The second phase of the longer-term transmission planning effort will address rules to enable a state or states to elect potential options for addressing issues identified in the transmission analyses and cost allocation for the associated transmission infrastructure. Discussions on this phase will play out over the course of 2022.