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August 24, 2023

Public Service Commission Approves Coordinated Grid Planning Process

On August 17, 2023, the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) issued an order approving the coordinated grid planning process (CGPP), which is a new long-term system planning process that will enable the PSC and the state’s major electric utilities (the Utilities) to identify necessary transmission investments needed to meet the objectives of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA).  

The CGPP establishes a new planning framework that includes a multi-step, 24-month process of data collection, modeling, system studies, and transmission solutions development, culminating in an initial report with recommended system investments by January 2, 2026, for the PSC’s consideration. Upon the PSC’s decision regarding the proposed investments, the same multi-step study cycle will repeat thereafter every two years. 

Notably, the CGPP also creates the Energy Policy Planning Advisory Council (EPPAC), a stakeholder group tasked with informing the planning process. EPPAC membership would be designated by Department of Public Service (DPS) staff to ensure various stakeholder interests are represented. Potential EPPAC membership includes representatives from each of the state’s six Utilities, the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO), the New York State Energy Research Development Agency (NYSERDA), DPS staff, the New York Power Authority (NYPA), Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), the Office of Renewable Energy Siting (ORES), the Utility Intervention Unit, the City of New York, generation and energy storage associations, and various environmental justice organizations. EPPAC members would advise the system planners on the development of build-out scenarios projecting potential renewable generation throughout New York State. 

Originally drafted as a three-year cycle time, the PSC is requiring the Utilities to collaborate with LIPA, DPS staff, and NYISO to file recommendations on the study process by June 1, 2024, to reduce the CGPP cycle time to two years. The PSC notes that the CGPP cycle time should adapt to be consistent with NYISO’s two-year planning study cycle. DPS staff is further tasked with providing a mid-cycle report to the PSC by June 1, 2024, detailing CGPP progress and suggestions for improvements. 

The first CGPP cycle starts now and will take approximately two years, or until mid-2025, to complete. The Utilities and LIPA would initiate the next planning cycle within thirty days following a PSC order on the system upgrades in the first cycle’s report. 

If you have any questions regarding the content of this alert, please contact Brenda Colella, Regulatory Practice Area co-chair and co-leader of the Renewable Energy and Energy Markets Teams, at; Ekin Senlet, Regulatory Practice Area co-chair, at; Emma Marshall, associate, at; Paige Beyer, associate, at; or another member of the firm’s Regulatory, Environmental, or Project Development Practice Areas or Energy or Renewable Energy Teams.

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