PJM’s Herling Confirms PJM Board Decision to TEAC

Today, PJM posted a letter from PJM VP Steve Herling to PJM’s Transmission Expansion Advisory Committee confirming the PJM Board of Managers’ decision to kill MAPP and PATH.
Here are the three reasons Herling cites for the termination of these two lines:

The analyses incorporated the continued trends of decreasing customer load growth, increasing participation in demand response programs and the recent commitment of new generating capacity in eastern PJM.

Nothing about the “economic downturn” or a sudden drop in demand.  Herling gets it exactly right — decreasing customer load growth — which by the way, is a trend that has been developing steadily since the 1970s.

The other two trends that Herling identifies have been repeatedly offered in evidence in PSC cases in WV and East Virginia in both the PATH and TrAIL cases, starting in 2006.

None of this should have taken PJM by surprise.  Except that the cartel was being driven by the desperate race to do favors for two of its coal-burning members — AEP and Allegheny Energy (now FirstEnergy).

Let’s hope the managers at PJM have learned a few lessons from this fiasco.

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