PJM’s Plans – Picture Worth 1000 Words
AEP, Allegheny and PJM are constantly saying that PATH is not about delivering power to the east coast, but about “reliability.” Problem is, all the “reliability” problems are caused by what? Delivering power to the east coast.
Here is the map from PJM’s 2009 revision of its Regional Transmission Expansion Plan (Note that the Plan is called “expansion” not “improvement.” In the cases of PATH, TrAIL, MAPP and S-R, expansion is not improvement.)
The blue lines are all of the new lines proposed by PJM. The red lines are their existing 500 kV transmission lines. The PATH and TrAIL lines are clearly the western end of AEP/Allegheny’s Project Mountaineer, designed to integrate their coal fired plants much more deeply into PJM’s transmission grid.
The Susquehanna-Roseland line, along with the Branchburg-Hudson connection, is clearly the northeastern end of Project Mountaineer that is designed to bring AEP/Allegheny’s coal fired power right into Manhattan. Also note that there are existing 500 kV circuits that tie PATH and TrAIL into both ends of the S-R/Branchburg-Hudson lines.
PJM showed its hand in its supplemental information filed in WV, and now MD, when one of its fake “alternatives” to PATH included upgrading circuits through Peach Bottom, PA. That 500 kV circuit is on the shortest link between Kemptown, MD (where PATH is supposed to end) and Branchburg, NJ (the western end of the Manhattan connector).
If all of the blue line transmission lines were built, we could rest assured that PJM’s “thermal violations” would start popping up on the missing links in Project Mountaineer. In fact, PJM’s Paul McGlynn is already claiming that PJM is seeing new “thermal violations” appearing in PA circuits. Here are the three PA 500 kV lines that McGlynn identified in 2010, for the first time in PJM’s RTEP, as having new thermal violations in PJM’s computer modeling:
• The Keystone-Jacks Mountain 500 kV line, an 83-mile EHV line In central Pennsylvania;
• The Jacks Mountain-Juniata #1 500 kV line, a 36-mile EHV line In central Pennsylvania; and
• The Jacks Mountain-Juniata #2 500 kV line, a 36-mile EHV line In central Pennsylvania.
The Jacks Mountain substation is shown on the map in central PA on the circuit between the northern end of the TrAIL line and the western end of the S-R line. PJM is already laying the foundation for their next set of transmission lines.
PJM is now saying that their modeling shows 35 thermal violations, as opposed to the 30 violations their modeling showed in all past years. I thought TrAIL was supposed to improve the thermal violation situation, not make it worse. How can PJM’s models be showing more thermal violations with TrAIL and S-R included in their modeling?
It’s all part of the Project Mountaineer plan.
Or maybe this “upgrade” of the grid is a never ending spiral. Adding larger and larger segments to the grid funnels more and more power into the smaller, older circuits causing new thermal violations. Then the power companies can run to FERC for new profit “incentives” to fix the new violations. And the cycle starts all over again until the rate payers are picked clean.