For Immediate Release

Contact: Francis Pullaro

646-734-8768

fpullaro@renew-ne.org

 

December 13, 2022

 

RENEW Northeast Complaint Seeks to Remove Barriers to Entry for New Power Generation in New England

RENEW Northeast, Inc. (RENEW) today filed a complaint calling on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to find the ISO New England (ISO-NE) Tariff improperly assigns costs for transmission system operation and maintenance expenses (O&M) to interconnecting generators.[1] The direct assignment of O&M costs for upgrades to the transmission system (Network Upgrades) that generators must make to connect to the grid is highly burdensome to them and creates a barrier to entry for new generation development in New England that may cause projects to withdraw at late stages of the interconnection process. 

ISO-NE is the only region in the United States in which interconnecting generators are directly assigned all capital cost and all ongoing O&M costs for Network Upgrades, regardless of who causes the Network Upgrades or who benefits from them.  Direct assignment of Network Upgrade-related O&M costs is contrary to FERC’s O&M cost allocation policy established prior to its Order No. 2003.

“Since Network Upgrades provide a system-wide benefit, expenses associated with owning, maintaining, repairing, and replacing them should be recovered from all transmission customers rather than being directly assigned to the generator,” said Francis Pullaro, Executive Director of RENEW.

The complaint recommends the New England transmission owners should be required to include the O&M costs as a transmission expense in their transmission formula rates instead of directly assigning O&M costs to generators.  The complaint shows the impact of including such O&M costs in transmission rates is very small.

The complaint also alleges that the process of directly assigning O&M costs to generators is not transparent.  Often, generators seeking to interconnect to the grid are not informed of the O&M costs they will be responsible for paying until the final stages of the interconnection process – when they receive their interconnection agreement.  Even then, the manner the O&M costs are calculated is often not disclosed and the costs can change over time without notice.

About RENEW: RENEW Northeast (www.renewne.org) unites environmental advocates with developers and operators of the region’s largest clean energy projects to coordinate their ideas and resources with the goal of increasing environmentally sustainable power generation in New England from the region’s abundant renewable energy resources. Follow us on Twitter @Renew_NE.

[1] In some instances, such costs are referred to as part of the direct assignment facility (DAF) charges.

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