Schizoprenia Reigns at PSE&G in NJ

Groups opposing the Susquehanna-Roseland line, northeastern link in PJM’s Project Mountaineer, issued a press release about the new report issued by the S-R line’s owner, PSE&G.

In its report, PSE&G says:

At first glance, the idea of building a superhighway of transmission lines to support renewable generation seems appealing. But a closer examination reveals some serious flaws that would result in many undesirable outcomes – higher costs to consumers, project delays, less technological innovation, and added cost and difficulty in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. When taken together, it is an ineffective way to support renewable energy.

The fallacy of “green” transmission – creating expanded pathways for coal-generated electricity: Advocates of the superhighway approach characterize the approach as “green transmission lines,” because there may be some number of wind farms connected to the line. The laws of physics and the design of the transmission system make this simplistic characterization inaccurate. The transmission system is a very large, complex network of interconnected high-voltage power lines. As electricity is generated and put into that grid, the laws of physics alone dictate where those electrons go, regardless of the type of plant generating the power. [emphasis mine]

What?  You read that right.  PSE&G, the power company that wants to build an essential part of the “transmission superhighway” has issued a report that could have been written by the people who have been fighting the S-R line for two years.  The phrases in bold above could have come straight from any number of posts on The Power Line.

Here is a link to the report.  Here are the opening paragraphs:

There are varying visions for how transmission should be built to support the expansion of renewable energy in America. The concept of a transmission superhighway is promoted as supporting the development of renewable energy and is touted as being green, efficient and cost-effective. This paper demonstrates that a national transmission superhighway actually can impede renewable development, while yielding expensive and inefficient transmission expansion.

Under this approach, the federal government would plan transmission lines, invoke eminent domain authority to site them, and socialize their cost among a broad group of ratepayers.
A national transmission build-out would cause more expensive projects to be built, enable coal plants to run more often, and hurt local efforts to promote renewable generation. It also would create a new national bureaucracy and have a chilling effect on the development of new renewable projects while transmission routes are planned and built.

For once, I am speechless.  Why is the company that is pushing Project Mountaineer’s coal agenda, a key part of the Cheney-Obama-AEP transmission agenda, suddenly turning against that very same agenda?  Can PSE&G really claim that Susquehanna-Roseland is not part of the very same national transmission agenda?

Is the PJM transmission consensus coming apart?  Dominion Virginia Power proposes a much less expensive alternative to PATH.  PSE&G, one of the founding members of PJM, opposes the very system that is supporting its own Susquehanna-Roseland project.  Maybe these major power companies from coastal states realize that their future lies in offshore wind power, not increasingly expensive coal-fired power from western PA and the Ohio River Valley.