Board authorizes $215 million in transmission upgrades

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Also acts on Quad Review, VOM

The PJM Board this week authorized a net $214.9 million in additional bulk electric transmission upgrades to maintain reliable power supplies for the 65 million people in the PJM area, and also took action on the Quadrennial Review of Variable Resource Requirement Curve Parameters and related cost calculations.

“We must constantly evaluate and plan to ensure that the grid keeps pace with consumers’ reliance on reliable power supplies,” said Andy Ott, president and CEO. “PJM independently determines the need for upgrades and confirms the effectiveness of the projects.”

More information about the latest approved upgrades will be available in the meeting material for the Oct. 11 Transmission Expansion Advisory Committee.

How PJM Plans for the Future

PJM uses an open process to plan for changes to the electric grid in the 13-state region to maintain future reliability and economic performance of the grid. PJM’s process looks ahead 15 years, assessing many drivers that affect grid reliability. PJM studies many scenarios and analyzes various grid conditions that could lead to problems in the way power flows throughout the region.

When PJM identifies potential problems, it works with transmission owners and other members through a competitive planning process to determine the best fix for the problem, meeting required national standards.

Examples of these fixes include:

  • New transmission lines
  • Replacing existing high-voltage transmission lines with lines capable of carrying more power
  • Installation of devices that maintain voltage levels

The Regional Transmission Expansion Planning process determines the need for and benefits of a transmission project; it does not review or approve locations where transmission lines are ultimately built. That is the responsibility of individual states.

All transmission improvements identified through this process are discussed publicly in stakeholder meetings, and reviewed and approved by the PJM Board before being included in PJM’s expansion plan.

Learn more about Regional Transmission Expansion Planning in the Learning Center.

Action on Quadrennial Review Package and VOM Costs

In other actions this week, the Board approved PJM’s package for the Quadrennial Review of Variable Resource Requirement Curve Parameters, which must be filed with FERC by Oct. 12.

The Board also approved PJM’s updated proposal on Variable Operations & Maintenance Costs (VOM), voting to file proposed Operating Agreement changes under Section 206 of the Federal Power Act.

PJM believes it is important to get this proposal before FERC for a decision so that PJM, stakeholders and the independent market monitor’s perspectives can all be considered by the Commission. The VOM costs are integral to the Quadrennial Review; the determination concerning the inclusion of VOM costs in cost-based energy market offers must be coordinated with the cost of new entry (CONE) calculation that is part of the Quadrennial Review.