PC paves way for cost cap clarifications

The Planning Committee on Thursday endorsed new language to incorporate project cost cap commitments into PJM Manual 14F: Competitive Planning Process and the Operating Agreement.

The motion passed with 83 in favor, 27 against and one abstention. The changes will be reviewed at the Jan. 25 Markets and Reliability Committee meeting. If the item is approved, the Members Committee will be asked for endorsement on Feb. 22.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission needs to approve the changes to the OA before PJM can implement them; PJM hopes to be able to implement the changes for the 2018 planning year.

The new language, developed during five special sessions of the Planning Committee, clarifies what PJM will require of entities proposing cost cap commitments, how the offers will be evaluated in competitive proposals and what would be included in the Designated Entity Agreement.

Cost containment commitments would be limited to project construction costs.

“The most value is in capping the construction costs,” said Steve Herling, PJM vice president – Planning.

The committee also approved a problem statement and issue charge to study the market efficiency re-evaluation process, which is meant to ensure that economically-driven projects continue to be cost-beneficial.

The work, to be conducted by the RTEP Market Efficiency Project Enhancement Task Force, stems from opportunities for improvement identified during the 2014/15 and 2016/17 planning cycles.

The group’s efforts will be staged, with initial recommendations expected to be reviewed by stakeholders by July 1 in order to be implemented in time for the Nov. 1 window for 2018/19. Phase two results would be expected by March 1, 2019.

Also at Thursday’s meeting, PJM responded to two previous presentations by AMP (Dec. 14 PC; Oct. 24 Transmission Replacement Senior Task Force) by opening up a dialogue about information requests related to project planning.

“This will be an ongoing conversation,” said Mark Sims, manager –Transmission Planning. “Our purpose is to focus on the RTEP implementation. We’re trying to sort through what we’re being requested versus the job we need to do and what’s helpful for the overall process.”

Information requests are getting very detailed, he said. “We’re looking to strike an efficient balance.”

Paul McGlynn, senior director – System Planning, invited stakeholders to submit their suggestions to him and Sims.

“We wanted to begin to get stakeholders thinking about suggesting things we should be doing at sub-regional TEAC and TEAC, if there are ways we can make things more efficient, like using technology,” he said. “Any of those types of things are on the table to make the process No. 1, transparent, but also efficient.”

Herling also shared some personnel moves:

  • Aaron Berner will be manager – Transmission Planning
  • Mark Sims will be manager – Infrastructure Coordination
  • Sue Glatz will be director – Infrastructure Planning
  • Ken Seiler will be executive director – System Planning
  • Paul McGlynn will be senior director – System Operations

In other business

  • McGlynn announced that going forward, the start time of the Planning Committee meetings will be 9 a.m.

First reads

Informational updates

  • Manual 14 series proposed changes
  • RTEP 2018 schedule update
  • NERC and regional coordination update
  • PJM external capacity filing