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Our attorneys stay on top of changes in legislation, agency regulations, case law, and industry trends—then craft timely legal alerts to keep clients up to date on legal developments important to their business.

June 23, 2023

New York State Public Service Commission Issues a Call to Developers for Offshore Wind Transmission Interconnections


On June 22, 2023, the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) indicated that there is a need to expand the state’s transmission system to deliver energy from offshore wind power sources to New York City. In its Order Addressing Public Policy Requirements for Transmission Planning Purposes, the PSC found that the state needs more offshore wind interconnections into New York City to meet the state’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) mandate of procuring at least 9,000 megawatts (MW) of offshore wind energy by 2035.

The PSC’s decision to focus on New York City interconnections is the result of the 2021 Power Grid Study, which, as we previously reported, examined offshore wind interconnections between the Long Island and New York City systems. The urgent need for interconnections into New York City also resulted in the PSC directing Con Edison, after consultation with Department of Public Service (DPS) Staff, to undertake a process to make information available to transmission developers concerning existing or potential points of interconnection on its system downstate. 

The future transmission expansion will come via the Public Policy Transmission Need (PPTN) process. The PPTN process is outlined in the New York Independent System Operator, Inc.’s (NYISO’s) tariff and involves the solicitation and evaluation of public policy transmission projects. The PPTN process implements the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC’s) Order No. 1000 directive requiring public utility transmission providers to consider in their planning processes transmission needs driven by public policy requirements within the state. 

Under the PPTN process, now that the PSC has issued an Order determining this specific transmission need, the NYISO will now solicit competitive proposals from transmission developers as solutions for that need and assess the proposals across numerous metrics, including cost, performance, and overall project viability. In addition to the NYISO’s metrics, the PSC also directed developers to demonstrate compliance with the recently released New York State Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) cable siting principles in their PPTN proposals.i At the conclusion of the NYISO evaluation, the NYISO board will choose the PPTN project that is the most efficient or cost-effective.
 
The PPTN project selected by the NYISO board will still need to obtain transmission siting approval, which will dictate the final conditions for the construction and operation of the selected PPTN project. Article VII of the New York State Public Service Law dictates this process and requires the PSC to conduct a full review of the environmental and community impacts of the siting, design, construction, and operation of major transmission facilities in the state. However, the PSC advised potential developers that they do not need to wait until the NYISO selects a PPTN project in order to start their Article VII siting process, which is known to be lengthy.  

With the PPTN declaration, the PSC has taken an important step toward reaching its goal of securing an additional source of offshore wind generation for New York City. All eyes are on the NYISO as it issues its competitive solicitation and evaluates PPTN developer proposals. The NYISO will next hold a technical conference to officially start the solicitation process and will provide a 60-day response period for proposed solutions. The NYISO will then conduct a preliminary analysis regarding whether each proposed solution is viable and sufficient to meet the PSC Order. 

Attorneys in Barclay Damon’s Regulatory Practice Area and on the Renewable Energy and Energy Markets Teams will continue to monitor these and other developments affecting the renewable energy industry and the power grid in New York State.

If you have any questions regarding the content of this alert, please contact Brenda Colella, Regulatory Practice Area co-chair and co-team leader of the Renewable Energy and Energy Markets Teams, at bcolella@barclaydamon.com; Ekin Senlet, Regulatory Practice Area co-chair, at esenlet@barclaydamon.com; Dan Krzykowski, associate, at dkrzykowski@barclaydamon.com; or Emma Marshall, associate, at emarshall@barclaydamon.com
                                                                                                   

iSee NYSERDA Offshore Wind Cable Corridor Constraints Assessment, January 2023.

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