Exploring PJM: What Goes into the RTEP

Exploring-PJM-IconPJM’s Regional Transmission Expansion Plan identifies transmission system upgrades and enhancements to provide for the operational, economic and reliability requirements of PJM customers.

The RTEP process focuses on reliability, market efficiency and interconnection requests.

Over the years, PJM expanded its planning process to include scenarios that consider public policy factors like the impact of state renewable portfolio standards, demand-side response/energy efficiency efforts and at-risk generation.

PJM analyzes several different factors to see what changes or additions are needed – such as connecting new power lines or upgrading existing equipment – to ensure ongoing reliable power supplies for consumers.

Interested entities – existing transmission owners, transmission developers – submit projects to PJM during open window periods. Transmission upgrades to address reliability criteria violations are examined for their feasibility, impact and costs. Those that are approved or recommended are added to the plan for the PJM footprint.

Blue Boxes

“Each RTEP cycle starts with updated input assumptions based on the latest available data,” said Paul McGlynn, senior director – System Planning. “Then, we run analysis, based on those assumptions and conduct RTEP windows where appropriate to develop the plan.”

There are four planning paths in the RTEP – reliability planning, economic planning, interconnection and local planning. PJM’s planning analyses are based on a consistent set of models with fundamental assumptions on load (customers’ power use), generation and transmission.

What does PJM staff look at for the RTEP? 

Baseline reliability analyses ensure the security and adequacy of the transmission system to serve all existing and projected long-term firm transmission use.

Generation and transmission interconnection analyses occur as resources or merchants request transmission interconnection. PJM reexamines and updates deliverability in the local area of the request.Factors Driving System Expansion

Market efficiency analyses focus on the economic merit of proposed transmission enhancements. PJM addresses the impacts and/or constraints on things such as production costs or congestion charges.

Operational performance issue reviews and accompanying analyses keep the transmission system equipment in safe, reliable operating condition as well as addressing actual operational needs.

The RTEP process allows the opportunity for early, full and transparent participation by interested PJM stakeholders. The process ensures that electricity will be available when consumers flip the switch for years into the future.



Since 1999, the PJM Board has approved transmission system enhancements totaling nearly $28.3 billion. The enhancements ensure compliance with North American Electric Reliability Corporation planning criteria. This includes $23.5 billion of baseline transmission enhancements throughout PJM and $4.8 billion of network facilities to enable the interconnection of more than 71,000 megawatts of new generating resources.