Planning Committee Looks Toward 2019


Looking toward the future was the theme of the Planning Committee Thursday, as a number of initiatives – such as connecting off-shore wind resources to the grid, resilience and the intricacies of cost commitment – dominated the discussion.

Merchant Transmission Interconnection

Suzanne Glatz, director – Infrastructure Planning, discussed potential areas of improvement to the merchant transmission interconnection process and off-shore wind projects.

She said that PJM has been approached with a variety of innovative off-shore wind developers, but the current process and tariff don’t provide what is needed for those types of merchant transmission projects.

Glatz said that PJM has been responsive to these requests. This means working with stakeholders who want to meet the needs of the states. It also means developing a level of coordination at every facet of a very complex issue and creating a process in a thoughtful way, one that takes the community into account as well as achieving reliability goals.

She encouraged stakeholders to reach out with ideas, as PJM continues to explore what might be the best way to go forward. Stakeholders suggested a problem statement be brought forward to fully vet the issue which PJM is considering. Interested stakeholders are encouraged to provide feedback via the Planning Community or speak directly with PJM Planning staff.

Interconnection Queue Process

Glatz also reviewed potential areas of improvement for the interconnection queue process to address high volume at the end of the queue, which is among various challenges that PJM is facing in processing study requests in a timely and efficient manner. As PJM presented in November, there were upwards of 450 requests in the last two queues that closed, with a significant number coming in at the end of the cycle. Through this effort, PJM will be reviewing its processes and tools and will bring updates on any proposed changes to improve the interconnection process.

Additional Initiatives

In other business, Shaun Murphy, senior business solution engineer – Applied Solutions and Synchrophasor project manager, updated the group on PJM’s plans to enhance its synchrophasor placement strategy. For example, going forward, PJM will install a requirement for phasor measurement units for new substation work. (See Exploring PJM: PJM’s syncrophasor program, Part 1 and Part 2.)

Mark Sims, manager – Infrastructure Coordination, reviewed the cost commitment status and next steps. In a detailed assessment, Sims detailed PJM’s work with Monitoring Analytics and an outside consultant to develop a comparative framework.

One of the challenges is what Sims called the “moving parts” of PJM’s sponsorship model of planning. While there are unique projects from what he termed “creative ownership,” there is also a wide range of construction, and operating and maintenance cost estimates, as well as many forms of cost caps and containment.

Aaron Berner, manager – Transmission Planning, provided a detailed update of resilience analyses in the Regional Transmission Expansion Process study processes. He presented the scenario for cascading events, detailing the cascading metrics that PJM will use going forward. Berner said PJM will continue to talk with transmission owners to better improve the designs for reinforcement.

Tom Falin, director – Resource Adequacy Planning, filled in stakeholders on the work of the special Planning Committee meetings on Effective Load Carrying Capability (ELCC) analysis and study results on wind and solar resources. There will be another special session on Dec. 21, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and Falin said PJM hopes to have a consensus in January and a possible proposal in the March/April time frame.

John Reynolds, senior lead economic analyst – Resource Adequacy Planning, reviewed the preliminary 2019 Load Forecast report. PJM will release the final report shortly. Reynolds said the change in the forecasts for the upcoming Base Residual Auction and the RTEP study year should be well under 1 percent.

Inside Lines will provide a full story on the 2019 Load Forecast when PJM releases the final report.

Other Committee Business

Transmission Expansion Advisory Committee

Berner also provided an update of the 2018 RTEP analysis, including new baseline recommended solutions, and the next steps of the planning process.

He presented the 15-year analysis result for the 2018 RTEP. PJM studied the summer 2019, summer 2023 and winter 2023 cases, potential voltage issues identified in 2019 and 2023 summer analyses.

For the RTEP next steps, PJM will look at retirement sensitivities and finalize stability studies.

Nick Dumitriu, senior engineer – Market Simulation, discussed the 2018 Market Efficiency re-evaluation analysis and acceleration analysis. The 2018–2019 Long-Term Market Efficiency Window opened on Nov. 2 and will close on March 1. The base case modeling parameters are available on the market efficiency page on

Stakeholders also heard the most recent generation deactivation notices and proposed solutions for supplemental projects from Dominion.