First Reads at Center of PC Meeting

Stakeholders heard a number of first reads on proposed changes that streamline and consolidate the system planning process at the Planning Committee meeting on Oct. 12.

Michael Herman, senior engineer, presented a first read on minimum requirements for underground transmission from the Designated Entity Design Standards Task Force. Stakeholders previously approved transmission line, substation, and protection requirements at the June PC meeting.

The task force has been looking at minimum engineering design standards (including geography, physical and local needs such as noise level and undergrounding requirements). The standards apply to projects that are competitively solicited and require the signing of a Designated Entity Agreement.

The underground transmission lines may be the last set of requirements for now, pending a decision at the Oct. 19 task force meeting on high voltage direct current minimum standards. The task force group studying those standards has determined that PJM does not require them at this time (alternating current being the industry standard).  If task force members agree, the task force will re-examine all of the standards in two years.

PJM also presented proposed changes to the procedures for transmission service requests and upgrade requests.

Currently, PJM performs several studies – an initial study followed by studies on the impact on the system and to facilities. One problem with the current process is that it leads to developing a reinforcement plan and cost estimates before the facilities study.

Discussion at the subcommittee level led to a proposal to add a feasibility study phase to replace the initial study. This would, however, require changes to the Tariff.

PJM provided an update on grid resilience in system planning, discussing a potential PJM definition of infrastructure resilience and how the overall approach for a resilience program in PJM Planning dovetails with the one from the Severe Impact Resistance Task Force at the North American Electric Reliability Corporation.

From NERC: “Infrastructure resilience is the ability to reduce the magnitude and/or duration of disruptive events. The effectiveness of a resilient infrastructure or enterprise depends upon its ability to anticipate, absorb, adapt to, and/or rapidly recover from a potentially disruptive event.”

The committee endorsed the final results of the 2017 Installed Reserve Margin study. The IRM and forecast pool requirement reflect the 2018/19, 2019/20, 2020/21 and 2021/22 delivery years and the winter weekly reserve targets for the 2017/18 winter period.  The Planning Committee endorsed the study assumptions at its June meeting.

This study does not reflect any of the analysis being performed for the Winter Season Resource Adequacy and Capacity Requirements problem statement from the Markets & Reliability Committee.

The committee also endorsed:

  • Updates to Manual 14B: Regional Transmission Planning Process (adding contingency definitions)
  • Updates to Manual 19: Load Forecasting and Analysis (clarification of timing for load drop estimates)

Additional Updates