Potential Reforms for Transmission Planning, Cost Allocation and Generator Interconnection Discussed


As the federal government advances potential policy to drive needed infrastructure investment, clarify climate strategies and meet the challenge of reliably integrating renewable resources, PJM has set out with stakeholders to articulate priorities and concerns as Interconnection Policy Workshops continue this fall.

On Aug. 27, PJM and its stakeholders shared perspectives on reform for interconnection policy; long-term regional and interregional transmission planning; and transmission modernization, expansion and oversight in the latest of the workshop series. These discussions dovetail with requests for input sought by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in the agency’s recent Advance Notice of Public Rulemaking aimed at aligning federal regulatory policy with the needs of the grid of the future.

A panel discussion and question-and-answer session moderated by Ken Seiler, PJM Vice President – Planning, focused on interconnection cost-causation principles.

 “We do not develop policy here at PJM,” Seiler said in remarks about FERC’s interest in planning models that look beyond PJM’s integrated and tactical five-year Regional Transmission Expansion Plan. “We implement the policies that are provided to us. We provide analysis, and we provide guidance to policy makers who ask. We identify impacts to the grid as the result of proposed policies. We are very happy to do that for the states and our stakeholders.”

Federal policy “that is much more aligned to the evolving changes on the grid than it is today,” he added, “would go a long way.”

Looking ahead, PJM presented data showing most (1,560) of the 1,826 proposed generation resources in PJM’s interconnection queue lie within 100 miles of metropolitan load centers.

“The takeaway is that 85% of all future resources are within 100 miles of a load center,” David Souder, Executive Director – Planning, said.

To inform conversation about planning for FERC’s interest in interregional transfer capacity, Souder said PJM has evolved from being primarily a net importer of power in 2014 to becoming a net energy exporter. In 2021, he said, PJM peak hour export to its neighbors approached 16,000 MW during an extreme cold snap.

Transfer capability is an important topic of concern for abiding grid resilience and reliability.

While renewable resources account for more than 90% of the 135,588 MW actual capacity in PJM’s Interconnection queue, it is estimated that only 35%, or 47,452 MW, of these generation projects are expected to come into service, he added.

“We hope this is helpful for participants as they look through the Advance Notice of Public Rulemaking and prepare their responses,” Souder said.

The cross-section of PJM stakeholders on the panel were Susan Bruce, PJM Industrial Customer Coalition; Denise Foster Cronin, Vice President, Federal and RTO Regulatory Affairs, East Kentucky Power Cooperative; John Brodbeck, Senior Manager, Transmission, EDP Renewables; Jeffrey Whitehead, Consultant, GT Power Group; Chad Heitmeyer, Director, RTO Policy, American Electric Power; Erik Heinle, Assistant People’s Counsel, Office of the People’s Counsel for the District of Columbia; and Melissa Alfano, Manager of Regulatory Affairs and Counsel, Solar Energy Industries Association. PJM seeks more stakeholder feedback meetings in a survey to come and additional planning policy workshops to be scheduled September 13 and September 30.