PJM approves $1.5 billion in transmission upgrades

PJM said that it has authorized more than $30.8 billion in transmission additions and upgrades in its Regional Transmission Expansion Plan since its first one in 2000

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PJM Interconnection on Feb. 15 said that its board has authorized more than $1.5 billion in electric transmission projects, including several large-scale and mid-size projects, that address reliability issues in multiple areas.

The largest project addresses aging infrastructure in Burlington, Mercer and Middlesex counties in New Jersey, and requires rebuilding portions of existing transmission lines, PJM said.

The north New Jersey project in the Public Service Electric and Gas footprint includes replacing equipment that has shown signs of wear because of age, PJM said. Some of the transmission facilities and lines are more than 80 years old and have reached the point where they need to be replaced, PJM said. The board approved a three-part project to rebuild and upgrade to 230 kV the 138-kV lines in the Metuchen-Edison-Trenton-Burlington corridor, PJM said.

In addition, the board approved a number of projects to avoid future problems that would make the system less reliable, PJM said, noting that projects range from replacing transformers to upgrading circuits and rebuilding line segments. The projects are in areas served by PSE&G, which is a unit of Public Service Enterprise Group; American Electric Power; Dominion; Duke Energy Ohio and Kentucky; PPL’s PPL Electric Utilities; and FirstEnergy’s Metropolitan Edison, PJM said.

According to a Jan. 12 PJM “Reliability Analysis Update” presentation, the approved projects include:

· Building a new switching station in the “Dominion Transmission Zone” to be called the Hathaway switching station with a 230-115-kV transformer, 5-230-kV breakers in a breaker and a half scheme, and 4-115-kV breakers in a ring. The project also involves reconfiguring the Battleboro-Benson 115-kV, Nash-Hornertown 230-kV, and Edgecombe NUG-Rocky Mt 230-kV to terminate into Hathaway (b1794). The project’s revised estimated project cost is $25.4m, and the projected in-service date for the project, which is under construction, is June 1

· Installing a third 230/69-kV 224 MVA transformer at the Lyons substation in the “MetEd Transmission Zone,” as well as installing new terminal equipment for the existing Lyons-East Penn (865) 69-kV Line (B2814). The estimated project cost is $5.5, and the project’s expected in-service date is June 1, 2019

· Expanding the existing Lycoming 69-kV yard in the “PPL Transmission Zone” to a double bus double breaker arrangement, which will convert the substation from a single operating bus to double bus configuration and eliminate the risk of losing the Lycoming source under a stuck circuit breaker contingency (B2813). The estimated project cost is $22m, and the project’s expected in-service date is Nov. 30, 2019

“The growing need to replace aging infrastructure, energy efficiency and the resulting reduction in the growth of demand for electricity are affecting transmission development,” PJM President and CEO Andy Ott said in the statement. “The current round of projects approved by the board reflects the trend.”

PJM said that it has authorized more than $30.8 billion in transmission additions and upgrades in its Regional Transmission Expansion Plan since its first one in 2000.

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