17 December 2004 - Total approved upgrades to the electric transmission system now exceed $1bn in the PJM Interconnection region. PJM has approved an additional $256m in upgrades to reach the new total.
"This milestone is an additional demonstration of the success of the regional model of operations and planning," said Phillip G. Harris, PJM president and chief executive officer. "We can point to a proven process that ensures needed improvements are made to continue reliable service for customers in our region, which is especially significant in light of national concerns about the need for transmission investment."
PJM uses a systematic process to identify necessary grid improvements. The upgrades ensure the system meets standards to deliver electricity reliably throughout the area. Improvements also allow new projects to connect to the grid.
"Our proven track record of competitive markets and regional planning attracts investments in power plants built at no risk to ratepayers," Harris said.
The recent updates to the regional transmission plan include work to connect 16 new generation projects that contribute 870 MW to the future adequacy of the PJM system. That is enough electricity to power about 690 000 homes. Nearly 100 projects adding more than 13 000 MW of new generation have been connected to the PJM grid through the regional planning process. The net total of approved transmission upgrades in PJM is $1.04bn.
The transmission improvements result from PJM's Regional Transmission Expansion Planning Process, established in 1997. PJM approved the first Regional Transmission Expansion Plan in 2000. PJM oversees the transmission grid in all or parts of 12 states and the District of Columbia.
Because PJM has a perspective across a broad region, it can identify the most effective improvements regardless of location or the owner of the facilities. PJM has the authority to require transmission owners to make the identified reliability improvements. In PJM, the entity that causes the need for improvements pays for their cost. For example, new generators pay for the cost of transmission upgrades required to move the power they produce.