On September 8, 2016, the Commission denied a complaint filed by Boundless Energy NE, LLC, CityGreen Transmission, Inc. and Miller Bros. (collectively, “Competitive Transmission Developers” or “CTD”) against the New York Independent System Operator, Inc. (“NYISO”), alleging that NYISO violated its Open Access Transmission Tariff (“OATT”) in its most-recent solicitation for projects to address public policy transmission needs identified by the New York State Public Service Commission (“NYPSC”). The Commission determined that CTD had failed to demonstrate that NYISO had violated its OATT, or that NYISO had improperly abdicated its responsibilities to the NYPSC in the implementation of its public policy transmission planning process.
In Order No. 1000, the Commission required that each public utility transmission provider include procedures in their OATT to consider transmission needs driven by “Public Policy Requirements” in the local and regional transmission planning processes. The Commission defined “Public Policy Requirements” in Order No. 1000 as “requirements established by local, state or federal laws or regulations.” On February 29, 2016, NYISO issued a competitive project solicitation requesting that interested parties submit solutions to a number of transmission needs driven by Public Policy Requirements and identified by the NYPSC.
In their June 10, 2016 complaint, CTD alleged that NYISO had violated its OATT in its solicitation to address the transmission needs identified by the NYPSC. Specifically, CTD argued, among other things, that NYISO had improperly surrendered its responsibilities to the NYPSC because NYISO: (1) failed to review all viable technical solutions, including transmission, alternative technologies, generation, and non-wires solutions, as required by its OATT; (2) delegated its OATT planning functions to the NYPSC; and (3) limited its role in the solicitation to a ministerial one in which NYISO simply selected the lowest-cost project bid to develop the NYPSC’s preferred projects.
In its September 8, 2016 order denying CTD’s complaint, the Commission found that CTD had failed to demonstrate that NYISO had violated its OATT, or that NYISO had improperly abdicated its responsibilities to the NYPSC in the implementation of its public policy transmission planning process. Specifically, the Commission found that NYISO’s solicitation requested both transmission and non-transmission solutions to the needs identified by the NYPSC, and noted that the submitted responses included at least one non-transmission proposal, two direct current proposals, and several other alternative proposals. The Commission also determined that NYISO had appropriately implemented its planning function by soliciting proposals to address the specific needs identified by the NYPSC, and that in doing so had not impermissibly delegated this function to the NYPSC. Lastly, the Commission rejected CTD’s allegation that NYISO’s role was limited to a ministerial one that simply selected the lowest-cost project bid to develop the NYPSC’s preferred projects, noting that “the [NYPSC] did not select a specific project in its process to identify the public policy transmission need, and therefore NYISO appropriately conducted a solution-based solicitation, based on the sponsorship model, consistent with its OATT.”
A copy of the Commission’s order can be found here.