Transmission Replacement Language Heads to MRC

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Members of the Markets & Reliability Committee (MRC) will hear first reads Dec. 20 on proposed changes to Manual 14B: Region Transmission Planning Process regarding transmission replacement projects.

The revisions stem from recent Federal Energy Regulatory Commission orders that aim to ensure transparency and encourage stakeholder input in the planning of supplemental projects. These are projects identified by transmission owners outside of necessary compliance with PJM criteria or North American Electric Reliability Corporation standards.

Transmission replacement falls under supplemental projects. Transmission owners, not PJM, are responsible for planning projects to replace aging infrastructure.

Proposed Changes

The main proposal headed to the MRC was drafted by American Municipal Power (AMP) and Old Dominion Electric Cooperative. An alternative plan is being presented by PJM. LS Power also may recommend manual revisions.

The changes have been discussed at three special sessions of the MRC, the last one held on Tuesday. (See PJM, Stakeholders Review Transmission Replacement Process.)

Central to the conversation at the two-hour meeting were the meanings of the words “local” and “useful” in regard to planning. In particular, the AMP presentation questioned whether “useful life” could be construed as an accounting concept that could lead to a depreciated asset being replaced prematurely.

Among other changes, the PJM proposal adds transparency to the PJM’s Regional Transmission Expansion Plan process and incorporates additional information associated with the FERC-approved supplemental project processes.

PJM also intends to facilitate quarterly feedback opportunities associated with the new processes, said presenter Aaron Berner, manager – Transmission Planning.