MRC Delays Vote on Supplemental Project Manual Changes

1065

PJM and stakeholders are inching closer to consensus on manual changes concerning when certain transmission projects should be included in, and removed from, PJM’s Regional Transmission Expansion Plan (RTEP).

Representatives from PJM and LS Power – which is proposing the changes – expressed confidence at Thursday’s Markets & Reliability Committee meeting that the issues were being advanced, and the proposed manual language should be ready for a vote in August. They requested a delay until the August MRC meeting for the item, and members agreed with a favorable sector-weighted vote of 4.34 out of 5 (about 87 percent).

Aaron Berner, manager – Transmission Planning, noted that PJM has been working with stakeholders and believes it has found consensus on some items, and through additional discussion, there may be additional consensus obtained.

He added that PJM will be scheduling as many as three special sessions of the Planning Committee leading up to the Aug. 22 meeting to enable further stakeholder discussion.

Background

The revisions have been deliberated since January and stem from a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission order last fall that addressed the planning process for supplemental projects. Supplemental projects are transmission system improvements identified by transmission owners to meet local needs and are not required for compliance with PJM criteria for reliability, operational performance or economic efficiency, nor are they state public policy projects.

In the past month, stakeholders have made progress on four issues, said an LS Power representative, agreeing with Berner that PJM and members are having “meaningful discussions.”

Those issues are:

  • A supplemental project should not be converted to a baseline project (PJM agrees).
  • A supplemental project should be subject to displacement through regional planning (PJM generally agrees, but timing and the underlying need are important factors).
  • The integrity of a competitive proposal window should be maintained and not impacted by a new supplemental project (PJM generally agrees).
  • PJM should remove a supplemental project from the RTEP if a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity or similar authorization is denied (PJM generally agrees).

At the same time, the D.C. Office of the People’s Counsel and the New Jersey Public Power Authority are offering proposed Operating Agreement changes in the event LS Power’s proposed Manual 14B language changes are endorsed by members but rejected by PJM, which has exclusive purview over its manuals, if PJM believes such changes exceed PJM’s authority under the currently effective Operating Agreement. PJM noted that the proposed Operating Agreement language had not been fully vetted by PJM or stakeholders, and it included an expansion of the issues, including specifically a proposal to require PJM to remove certain supplemental projects after they had been included in a prior RTEP.

Other Business

In other business, committee Chair Denise Foster announced that a separate item previously scheduled for a vote at Thursday’s meeting was not included on the agenda. A problem statement and issue charge presented in June by the PJM Public Power Coalition to examine the efficacy of capacity interconnection rights will move to the Planning Committee for an education session before returning to the Markets & Reliability Committee.