PJM Board authorizes $350 million in transmission upgrades

The PJM Board has authorized $350.45 million.in electric transmission projects to ensure efficient and reliable power supplies for the 65 million customers PJM serves. It also approved the Installed Reserve Margin of 15.8 percent for 2021-22.

“Maintaining the reliability of the grid involves continuously reviewing the system and moving ahead with transmission projects,” said PJM President and CEO Andy Ott. “Today, the board has authorized a number of smaller projects each of which is important to maintaining reliability and efficiency for people who depend on both PJM and our members.”

There were 12 projects in the Mid-Atlantic area, 10 projects in the Western area and four projects in the Southern area. Although many individual projects cost less than $5 million, they maintain transmission grid reliability and wholesale power market efficiency.

Two projects will alleviate reliability issues in densely populated areas of northern New Jersey. One will dismantle and rebuild a 230-kV line to address load requirements for future growth. The project is estimated to cost $90.4 million. Another project in North Jersey replaces an overloaded 230-kV line at an estimated cost of $80 million.

Installed Reserve Margin

The PJM Board also approved the Installed Reserve Margin (IRM) for each of the next four delivery years based on results from PJM’s annual Installed Reserve Margin Study. The IRM and other parameters help determine the price and amount of capacity procured in PJM’s Reliability Pricing Model capacity auctions.

The IRM is an additional amount of capacity above the forecasted peak demand for a year. Having the additional capacity ensures that sufficient resources are available to maintain power supplies if some resources are unavailable or demand for electricity is higher than expected.

The study results re-set IRM for the delivery years of 2018/19, 2019/20, 2020/21 and establish the initial IRM for 2021/22.

PJM recommends a 15.8 percent IRM for the 2021/2022 Delivery Year and a 16.1 percent IRM for the 2018/2019 Delivery Year, a 15.9 percent for the 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 Delivery Years.