The PJM Interconnection Board authorized more than $1.5 billion in electric transmission projects to maintain reliable power supplies for the 65 million consumers in its 13-state and Washington, D.C. region.
The authorizations include several large 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, requiring a rebuilding of portions of existing transmission lines.
"The growing need to replace aging infrastructure, energy efficiency and the resulting reduction in the growth of demand for electricity are affecting transmission development," said Andrew L. Ott, PJM president and CEO. "The current round of projects approved by the Board reflects the trend."
With these changes, PJM has authorized more than $30.8 billion in transmission additions and upgrades in its Regional Transmission Expansion Plan since its first one in 2000.
"Our job is to make sure that the infrastructure all of us count on is sound and delivering power in the safest and most efficient way," Ott said.
The north New Jersey project in PSE&G includes replacement of equipment, which has shown signs of wear because of age. Some of the transmission facilities and lines are 80-plus years old and have reached the point where they need to be replaced. The PJM Board approved a three-part project to rebuild and upgrade to 230 kV the 138 kV lines in the Metuchen-Edison-Trenton-Burlington corridor.
The PJM Board also approved a number of projects to avoid future problems that would make the system less reliable. Projects range from replacing transformers to upgrading circuits to rebuilding line segments. The projects are in areas served by Metropolitan Edison, PP&L, PSE&G, AEP, Dominion, and Duke Energy Ohio and Kentucky.