PJM and Offshore Wind

I will not bore you with a full account of PJM Interconnection’s proposed changes to their planning process.  However, there are two interesting maps from the process that Keryn has pulled out that give a good picture PJM engineers’ thinking.

In my earlier posts on the PJM planning task force, here and here, I pointed out that one of the big issues in the planning reform is whether PJM is going to decide to help East Coast and Great Lakes states meet their renewable energy goals from wind power off their own coasts or help western land based wind generators move their power to these population centers.

PJM engineers have developed to scenarios and have used Keryn’s two maps to show what new transmission lines they think would be needed if eastern states got 20 gigawatts of power from offshore wind (a more or less maximum level) and what they think would be needed to support only 4 gigawatts of offshore wind power, with the rest coming from western wind farms.

As you can see on the 20 gigawatt map, PJM wants all of the original MAPP line from East Virginia through Delaware to NJ as well as two new 500 kV lines in NJ to support what they think they will need.  The other map, the 4 gigawatt scenario, shows that PJM wants new 765 kV lines in Indiana and Illinois as well as a smaller line in southwest VA.  As we have noted before, AEP is the only power company in the US with experience building and maintaining 765 kV lines.  It is clear that this plan is a sop to AEP for PJM’s failure to rig the PATH project.

Note that neither scenario calls for any additional transmission capacity in WV.  What happened to all that “the sky is falling” talk we heard for two years from AEP and Allegheny Energy, and PJM?  PJM’s past inconsistent performance with their “planning” doesn’t give me much confidence in their planning “reform” process either, but I wanted to give you some pictures of the terms of PJM’s discussion.

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