Saturday, March 23, 2019

NYISO Management Committee Briefs: Oct. 31, 2018

By Michael Kuser

AC Tx Project Under Board Review

RENSSELAER, N.Y. — NYISO’s Board of Directors continues to perform due diligence on the AC Public Policy Transmission Project and could issue a decision at its Dec. 6 meeting or early next year, interim CEO Robert Fernandez told the Management Committee on Wednesday.

The MC in June approved a staff report that recommended joint proposals by North America Transmission and the New York Power Authority to build two 345-kV transmission projects that could cost $900 million to $1.1 billion. (See NYISO MC Supports AC Transmission Projects.)

Any board amendments to the report would require stakeholder review, Fernandez said. Former CEO Brad Jones informed the MC last month that the board had asked for additional data on the project.

Fernandez also announced that Deputy General Counsel Karen G. Gach is now the ISO’s acting general counsel.

NYISO Strategic Plan 2019-2023

Rich Dewey | © RTO Insider

Rich Dewey, NYISO executive vice president, asked MC participants for feedback on the ISO’s five-year strategic plan, “which is illustrative of NYISO’s plans to respond to industry changes including evolving policies and disruption brought on by new technologies.”

“Front and center to the discussion was how do we prioritize these changes,” Dewey said.

The plan identifies six strategic initiatives to address the evolving nature of New York’s power grid as large-scale renewables and distributed energy resources connect and place new demands on electricity markets and grid operations, Dewey said.

The initiatives are: grid reliability and resilience; efficient markets; new resource integration; integration of public policy; technology and infrastructure investment; and an efficient and flexible business model.

“This plan is a confirmation by the board that energy markets are more effective in setting the price signals needed to incent new investment,” Dewey said.

Takeaways from a June 12 joint board/MC meeting were to continue exploring fuel security issues and how DER and storage can help provide resilience, as well as to consider what alternative market changes might protect system reliability and revenue adequacy in the event that the cost of carbon is not incorporated into the wholesale energy markets.

Con Ed’s Quin New MC Vice Chair

The MC elected Jane Quin, director of the energy markets policy group for Consolidated Edison, as vice chair.

“I view the stakeholder process as a keystone of NYISO’s success and am looking forward to playing a more significant role in contributing to that success,” Quin said.

Before serving in her current role, Quin was executive assistant to the CEO of Con Ed from 2013 to 2015.

2019 Budget

The MC approved a 2019 budget totaling $168.2 million, including an 8.03% increase in revenue requirement from this year’s budget and a 0.45% decrease in projected megawatt-hours, for an overall Rate Schedule 1 increase of 8.51%.

Alan Ackerman of Customized Energy Solutions, chair of the Budget and Priorities Working Group, presented the budget, which the board will consider Nov. 13.

Repayment of a $30 million loan to finance an energy management system/business management system upgrade project is driving up spending, Ackerman said. The ISO plans to add 15 new positions over the coming year.

Couch White attorney Michael Mager, who represents Multiple Intervenors, a coalition of large industrial, commercial and institutional energy customers, said the group had decided “with regret” to oppose the 2019 budget because it “could not get comfortable” with a budget increase of more than 8.5%.

Improving Public Policy Tx Planning

The MC approved Tariff revisions to improve the efficiency of the ISO’s short-term Comprehensive System Planning Process, with the board expected to vote on the issue at its Nov. 13 meeting.

The revisions would eliminate the requirement that the Public Service Commission issue an order before the ISO begins evaluating transmission solutions, a regulatory “pause” that is often too long, according to the grid operator.

Yachi Lin, senior transmission planning manager, presented the same report she did at the Business Issues Committee meeting earlier in October. (See “Improving Public Policy Tx Planning,” NYISO Business Issues Committee Briefs: Oct. 10, 2018.)

Multiple Intervenors and the city of New York opposed the changes.

Under the proposal, the PSC continues to retain the ability to cancel or modify an identified public policy transmission need prior to the ISO’s selection of the more efficient or cost-effective solution, which would halt the evaluation or result in an out-of-cycle process to address the modified need.