PJM, Stakeholders Review Transmission Replacement Process

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PJM and stakeholders examined the evolution of the transmission replacement project process at a Nov. 16 special Markets and Reliability Committee meeting.

The discussion revolved around changes to Manual 14B: Regional Transmission Planning Process in order to incorporate the new M-3 planning process. The M-3 process established an open, transparent process for transmission replacement projects, including opportunities for stakeholder feedback and comment.

Transmission replacement projects are transmission expansions or enhancements that are identified by transmission owners, but are not required for compliance with NERC or PJM criteria. They are not defined as state public policy projects according to the PJM Operating Agreement. These projects are accounted for in Regional Transmission Expansion Plan (RTEP) models, but are not identified by PJM as required for reliability, economic efficiency or operational performance criteria.

PJM presented an overview of the work conducted since the July 26 Markets and Reliability Committee meeting, where stakeholders discussed transmission end-of-life issues and voted to sunset the Transmission Replacement Process Senior Task Force.

Aaron Berner, manager – Transmission Planning, reviewed PJM’s proposed revisions to Manual 14B. LS Power verbally reviewed additional revisions to Manual 14B that it would like considered. American Municipal Power followed with manual revisions proposed by AMP and Old Dominion Electric Cooperative.

The purpose of the revisions is to align the manual language so it reflects the new M-3 process which provides additional clarity to PJM’s planning processes. The new process stems from a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission order and features the additional steps intended to encourage more member participation, as well as earlier identification of customer transmission needs and solutions that may better address their needs.

As stakeholders delved deeper into project considerations and manual language changes, some stakeholders expressed concern about whether and how a supplemental project would be incorporated in the RTEP if it became necessary for reliability. Berner assured them that if PJM concluded that the project was required for reliability it would be converted into an RTEP project. He also confirmed that if a supplemental project does not receive its required state approvals to be constructed, then PJM would remove that project from the RTEP.

In addition, Steve Herling, vice president – Planning, said that the transmission owners build projects in the RTEP to meet reliability standards. While PJM has no authority over supplemental projects, it still tracks every aspect of transmission projects, whether a PJM-Board-approved project or a supplemental project.

Berner said that, prior to integrating a supplemental project into the RTEP base case, PJM performs a “do-no-harm study” to ascertain that a proposed supplemental project will not adversely impact the reliability of the transmission system.