Comments Turned On

Starting with today’s post, I am turning on comments for all Power Line posts.

The Power Line began as a means to collect all PATH-related information in one place for use by citizens fighting PJM’s stupid project.  I was also heavily involved in fighting the line and did not see managing comments as a volunteer was a good use of my scarce time resources.  Now that the WV PSC case has ended and we are not being inundated with documents and news flashes, it is time for The Power Line to become more of a forum for discussion.

Comments will be moderated, and I will maintain a pretty tight hand on the comment reins.  If you have additional information, links to valuable resources or if you have documented corrections or disagreements, your comments are more than welcome on The Power Line.

If you are a troll or you just want to argue or trash someone else, your comments will be deleted without notice.

I am looking forward to your help and ideas about the transmission line situation in West Virginia.

3 thoughts on “Comments Turned On

  1. BGE is planning a large, new regional substation in Baltimore County, Maryland. They purchased a 90-acre parcel within an area targeted by state and local governments as a priority agricultural preservation area, and the parcel they bought, without any public input, is within the Piney Run Rural Legacy Area where many millions of dollars have been spent on agricultural easements. (They have since bought an additional 25-acre parcel.) The project will use 30 to 40 acres for two yards: one 230-kV yard and one 500-kV yard.

    We hired Hyde Merrill to advise us, and his findings are similar to those in his PATH testimony. There is no urgent need, the potential violations all boil down to one issue (voltage collapse) that is a low level threat that could be addressed in other economical ways.

    We fear that the real need for the substation is connected to PATH and the industry’s plan to nationalize the grid, but we have been told that it is strictly an independent project. We have one large substation in he vicinity already, and they say that one cannot be expanded to address the need.

    We are working with BGE to find a more suitable site (out of the rural legacy area), however, we do question the need for the $71 million project. We are concerned that BGE is under the gun by PJM to move forward on deadlines when PJM is also re-evaluating their initial findings. We believe there is a good chance that the re-evaluation will find that the need is not so great and no so urgent.

    This website/blog has been helpful in following what others have encountered, so I thought I would share with you what is going on here. BGE will be presenting the latest project status to the community at a meeting on August 10 at 7:30 p.m.

    • Teresa,

      Thanks for your news from Baltimore County. As we have noted before, power companies see conservation easements as targets for their substations and transmission rights of way, because these easement areas are often the only large tracts left near urban areas. In the PATH case, easement trustees fought hard to stop PATH’s right of way acquisition and the Frederick County Commission is fighting FirstEnergy’s attempt to break the county’s zoning laws for their mammoth substation. These easements were created for specific reasons and those reasons did not include reserving space for industrial development. This is a fight we have to win to protect our local economies. There are lots of alternatives, and power companies should be forced to use them.

  2. There are thousands of pages of testimony and exhibits memorializing the Frederick County war on a PJM project substation (765 kV) which the citizens won. The transmission developer still owns the land so its not over yet. PJM still is including the site in future plans. The new plans are for 500kV – leading me to believe ‘adjusted’ plans are in our future. The Board of Zoning Appeals’ denial of a special exception to build the leviathon is being appealed. The massive hearing record was only recently delivered to the Court. I imagine that means a complete electronic copy is now available and should be available very inexpensively from either Frederick County through the Maryland Public Information Act or through the Court clerk. It would save you from having to reinvent the wheel and the added bonus is the pain it would cause PJM to have one of their projects have to go up against the same materials.

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