• FERC Approves New York ISO's Transmission Planning Process
  • November 13, 2008
  • Law Firm: Troutman Sanders LLP - Atlanta Office
  • On October 16, 2008, FERC approved the transmission planning process for New York Independent System Operator, Inc. (“NYISO”). NYISO initially submitted the transmission planning process, which complies with Order No. 890, on December 7, 2007, but had to supplement its filing twice in June.

    FERC revised the pro forma Open Access Transmission Tariff (“OATT”) requirements through Order No. 890 in February 2007 to continue to ensure that transmission service is provided on a non-discriminatory basis. Specifically, Order No. 890 attempts to strengthen the pro forma OATT by increasing specificity and transparency in transmission systems for customers so that there are fewer opportunities for undue discrimination.

    Order No. 890 requires Regional Transmission Organizations (“RTOs”) and Independent System Operators (“ISOs”) such as NYISO to attach their transmission planning processes to their pro forma OATT. The transmission planning process must satisfy nine planning principles covering coordination, openness, transparency, information exchange, comparability, dispute resolution, regional participation, economic planning studies, and cost allocation for new projects. NYISO’s transmission planning process is the last pending submission by an RTO or ISO attempting to comply with Order No. 890.
    NYISO’s transmission planning process consists of local transmission planning, reliability planning, and economic planning. Every two years NYISO will build upon information previously gathered during an input stage. NYISO will then assess reliability needs and begin a solutions phase during reliability planning. Meanwhile, NYISO will monitor reliability solutions quarterly in order to quickly respond to reliability needs. Next, NYISO will use three congestion studies gathered with market input for its economic planning. Once the economic planning ends, a new two-year cycle begins.

    While conditionally accepting NYISO’s filing, FERC also asked for some modifications to be filed within 90 days of the order. This compliance filing will describe dispute resolution processes available during the planning process. NYISO must also clarify when stakeholders and customers can review and comment on information developed during the local planning phase. Finally, NYISO must answer some cost allocation questions FERC raised in the ruling. FERC also encouraged refinements in the future as NYISO implemented its transmission planning process.

    A copy of the Commission’s order is available at: http://ferc.gov/whats-new/comm-meet/2008/101608/E-4.pdf.