PJM’S HIGH-VOLTAGE PLAN TO ENHANCE POWER GRID BACK ON TRACK
PJM Interconnection green-lights slimmed-down $280M proposal to build line from South Jersey nuclear plant into Delaware
After months of controversy, a $280 million plan to enhance the power grid by building a new high-voltage line at PSEG Power’s nuclear power complex in southern New Jersey is moving ahead once again.
PJM Interconnection, the operator of the regional power grid, gave approval yesterday to a modified plan to build a new transmission line from the plant into Delaware, along with other upgrades around the Artificial Island generating stations.
The project, a subject of much controversy over how the costs would be allocated and who would build the new power line, is the first such proposal to be bid out competitively among various players in the utility sector in the region.
For Public Service Electric & Gas, a sister company to PSEG Power, the slimmed-down project approved by the PJM Board, means it will be awarded a $132 million piece of the project, mostly involving upgrades in and around the three nuclear units at the facility.
The board originally approved the project in 2015, but it drew criticism for how costs would be allocated, particularly in Delaware where the governor and other officials said it would saddle ratepayers with higher costs. It also decided the line should be built by LS Power, instead of PSE&G.
Eventually, the board reaffirmed the need for the project, but accepted staff recommendations that scaled down the cost and made other modifications. Among other modifications, the new line will be connected at the Hope Creek substation instead of at the Salem substation. The project is expected to cost about $280 million and be in service by June 2020.