PJM Releases Annual Regional Transmission Expansion Plan Report

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The high-voltage transmission system is essential to our society, and planning for the future grid – and maintaining it – is one of PJM’s primary functions.

Every year, PJM develops its Regional Transmission Expansion Plan (RTEP) report, which identifies transmission system upgrades and enhancements needed to make sure the grid stays reliable and provides equal access to low-cost electricity for all consumers. The 2018 RTEP report is now available.

The RTEP process systematically and objectively evaluates proposed transmission upgrades and generation interconnections (the points where generators connect to the grid) to ensure the reliable and equitable distribution of electricity. The process also includes a mechanism to mandate necessary grid improvements.

Transmission helps facilitate competition among power producers through access to PJM’s wholesale electricity markets. Competition has lowered prices, increased efficiency and allowed new and innovative power resources equal access to consumers across the states and the District of Columbia in the PJM region.

PJM conducts studies that test the transmission system against mandatory national standards and PJM regional standards. These studies look 15 years into the future to identify transmission overloads, voltage limitations and other potential problems stemming from violations of reliability standards.

Proposals for new generators or transmission resources to connect to the grid are also studied through PJM’s planning process, as are proposed generation retirements.

PJM has expanded its planning analysis to include scenario studies that consider public policy factors, such as the impact of state renewable portfolio standards that encourage the use of renewable energy, demand-side response/energy efficiency efforts that reduce electricity use, and generators at risk of retiring.

Managing the future growth of the electric system is an integral part of PJM Interconnection’s role as a regional transmission organization. PJM conducts its RTEP process to ensure it identifies the changes and additions to the grid that are needed to safeguard reliability and the successful operation of the wholesale electricity markets.