Could WV PSC Be Moving Toward a Pruntytown-Mt. Storm Rebuild?

In March, both houses of the WV Legislature passed a concurrent resolution, SCR149, urging the WV PSC to order FirstEnergy to rebuild the Pruntytown to Mt. Storm 500 kV transmission line.   Readers of The Power Line will remember that this line is also the only remaining section of the PJM grid that PJM claims will have any problems, under emergency situations, for the next 20 years, once Dominion’s rebuilding of the Mt. Storm to Doubs line is completed.

Today, WV PSC staff attorney John Auville, filed a petition requesting that the PSC order AEP and FirstEnergy to conduct a report on the condition of their high voltage transmission system in WV, with particular focus on the 40 year old Pruntytown to Mt. Storm line.  Auville wants this report submitted to the PSC within 30 daysHere is a link to this remarkable document.

I could provide a further summary, but Mr. Auville does an excellent job laying out the issues and the current factual situation.  The document is short, so it is well worth your time to read.

I will share one choice quote from the petition.  This is from a footnote on page 3:

To further this point, it is Staffs understanding the Pruntytown-Mt. Storm line recently when out of service due to equipment failure and it did not create any problems for the system, with standard operating procedures remaining in effect.

All we have heard from PJM for the last five years that the world will come to an end of one of its high voltage transmission lines goes down.  Keep in mind that Dominion hasn’t even started replacing the Mt. Storm to Doubs line, so PJM’s system is still the same as it has always been, except for the addition of the TrAIL line that was energized on May 19.  Mr. Auville notes that the decrepit Pruntytown went down and didn’t cause PJM to take any unusual actions in response.  This transmission line can easily be taken off line right now to be rebuilt.

I think Mr. Auville is on the right track.  We don’t need to seize any new land or sock rate payers with any new increases or give power companies any “incentives.”  If FirstEnergy won’t rebuild the Pruntytown line, all the PSC has to do is order them to do it.  If you agree with Mr. Auville’s line of thinking, why not send the PSC a brief note telling them what you think.  Here is a link with the PSC’s address.  Be sure to note in your letter the case numbers that Mr. Auville has referred to: 07-0508-E-CN and 09-0770-E-CN.

You can also now submit comments about specific cases to the WV PSC on line.  Here is the link.