On December 23, 2015, FERC rejected the New York Independent System Operator, Inc.’s (“NYISO”) proposed revisions to the Public Policy Transmission Planning Process (“Public Policy Process”) portion of its Comprehensive System Planning Process (“CSPP”) reflected in Attachment Y of its Open Access Transmission Tariff (“OATT”). In rejecting the proposal, FERC found that NYISO proposed tariff revisions that would subject nonincumbent transmission developers to an interconnection process with different requirements than those applied to incumbent Transmission Owners.

On June 29, 2015, NYISO filed proposed revisions to its Public Policy Process. NYISO stated that its tariff revisions would require that a transmission developer submit, as applicable, a valid Interconnection Request for a project under Attachment X of its OATT or a Study Request for the project pursuant to sections 3.7.1 or 4.5.1 of the OATT. On August 28, 2015, FERC staff issued a deficiency letter requiring NYISO to demonstrate that its proposed interconnection and transmission milestones were consistent with the Order No. 1000 requirement that a transmission planning region must use the same process to evaluate new transmission facilities proposed by nonincumbent transmission developers and incumbent transmission developers alike.

In response to the deficiency letter, NYISO argued that its proposed revisions did not alter its existing transmission expansion and interconnection processes in sections 3.7 and 4.5 of its OATT, which have applied to incumbent Transmission Owners and been a part of the NYISO’s OATT since its start-up. NYISO stated that projects proposed to be developed by Transmission Owners are subject to sections 3 and 4 of the NYISO OATT; projects proposed to be developed by other entities are subject to the interconnection requirements in Attachment X. Finally, NYISO argued that Order No. 1000 did not require changes to existing interconnection requirements and that any differences between the two processes reflect Transmission Owners’ “existing system knowledge, their role in performing technical studies, and their unique responsibilities under the interconnection process.”

In the December 23 order, FERC concluded that NYISO’s proposed tariff revisions were unjust, unreasonable, unduly discriminatory, and preferential because NYISO proposed to subject nonincumbent transmission developers to an interconnection process with different requirements than the process that applies to incumbent Transmission Owners. In doing so, FERC noted that the proposed interconnection requirements for nonincumbent transmission developers were numerous and burdensome, while the requirements for Transmission Owners were more limited and flexible. In addition, FERC found that a nonincumbent transmission developer would be required to pay a study deposit under Attachment X, but a Transmission Owner would not be required to pay such a deposit under sections 3.7 and 4.5 of the NYISO OATT.

A copy of the order is available here.