PJM board authorizes $318 million in transmission projects

There are 10 projects in the PJM Mid-Atlantic Region and two in the PJM Western Region, PJM said

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PJM Interconnection said its board has authorized $318 million in electric transmission projects to ensure efficient and reliable power supplies for the 65 million people that PJM serves.

There are 10 projects in the PJM Mid-Atlantic Region and two in the PJM Western Region, PJM said, adding that while many individual projects cost less than $5 million, they maintain transmission grid reliability and wholesale power market efficiency.

The two Western Region projects are a new $20 million, 138-kV line and substation project in the ComEd Zone and rebuilding a 161-kV line to alleviate summer and winter peak condition overloads in the AEP Zone (about $16.5 million), PJM said.

As noted in a Nov. 2 Transmission Expansion Advisory Committee “Reliability Analysis Update” presentation, the $20 million project involves installing a new 138-kV circuit 18702 from Schauff Road to Rock Falls and installing a fourth breaker and a half run at Schauff Road.

Discussing the problem that the project will address, the presentation noted: “Queue O-09 and O-29 are back to active from suspension. Rock Falls – Nelson 138KV Red line, Schauff Road (O09&O29) – Nelson Tap 138kV Red line and Schauff Road (O9&O29) – Rock Falls 138kV Red line are overload in base case and multiple single contingencies.”

Due to the immediate need, the timing required for a Regional Transmission Expansion Plan (RTEP) proposal window is infeasible, and as a result, the local transmission owner will be the designated entity, the presentation said.

The project’s expected in-service date is Nov. 1, 2019, according to the presentation.

Of the nearly $16.5 million project, the presentation noted that the Hazard – Wooton 161-kV line overloads under summer and winter peak conditions during generation deliverability analysis performed as part of the 2016 PJM RTEP Window 2.

During the 2016 PJM RTEP Window 2, the recommended solution is “Perform a sag study of the Hazard – [Wooton] 161 kV line to increase the thermal rating of the line,” the presentation said, adding that the results of that study determined that 40 of the 45 structures that comprise the line would need to be replaced due to sag clearance issues.

Additionally, about 6.3 of the 6.5-mile Hazard – Wooton line utilizes wood structures from 1943, the presentation noted, adding that there is a total of 52 category A open conditions along the 6.5-mile line that is comprised of 45 structures.

The presentation added that those open conditions include damaged/rotted poles and damaged guy wires, shield wire, conductor, insulators, and cross arms. Therefore, the presentation said, the conclusion of the study is to rebuild the line.

The recommended solution is to rebuild the Hazard – Wooton line using 795 26/7 ACSR conductor (300 MVA rating), the presentation said, adding that the project’s expected in-service date is June 1, 2021.

Among the larger projects in the approved group, two will alleviate reliability issues in densely populated areas of northern New Jersey, PJM said in its statement, adding that one will dismantle and rebuild a 230-kV line to address load requirements for future growth; the project is estimated to cost $90.4 million. Another project in New Jersey replaces an overhead 230-kV line at an estimated cost of $80m, PJM said.

According to the presentation, the estimated $90.4m project in the PSEG Transmission Zone has a required in-service date of June 1, 2018; the project status is “conceptual.”

Discussing the problem that the project will address, the presentation noted that the VFT – Warinanco 230-kV circuit is overloaded for several contingencies, and the Warinanco – Aldene 230-kV circuit is overloaded for tower contingency loss of the Linden to Deans and Linden to Sewaren 230-kV circuits.

Due to the immediate need, the timing required for an RTEP proposal window is infeasible, and as a result, the local transmission owner will be the designated entity, the presentation said.

The recommended solution is to wreck and rebuild the VFT – Warinanco – Aldene 230-kV circuit with paired conductor. That solution addresses tower age and does not require new right of way, the presentation added, noting that paired conductor can address load requirement with room for future growth.

Of the estimated $80 million project in the PSEG Transmission Zone, the presentation noted that it has a required in-service date of June 1, 2018, and that the project status is “conceptual.”

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