New Jersey BPU approves Atlantic City Electric’s transmission upgrade project
The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU), approved Atlantic City Electric’s (ACE) proposed project that involves an upgrade to a 41-mile, double-circuited, 138-kV transmission line.
As noted in the order, Exelon unit ACE in January 2016 filed a petition with the BPU seeking a determination that the Orchard-Lewis Transmission Project and all facilities involved in the project are reasonably necessary for the service, convenience, and welfare of the public.
ACE’s petition also sought these determinations:
· The ROWs and construction requirements currently in effect are to apply to the project notwithstanding any changes in ROW or construction requirements that the New Jersey BPU may promulgate between the date of approvals obtained and the date that the project lines are placed into service
· The Zoning and Land Use Ordinances and all regulations promulgated by the municipal entities and the counties are to have no application to the project, including substations
The BPU added that the petition further sought authorization to build and energize the proposed project and the facilities in a timely manner to permit the company to satisfy its obligation to continue to provide safe, adequate, and reliable service to its customers.
The project is an accelerated upgrade to the transmission line, which is more than 80 years old, consisting of new higher capacity double-circuited 230-kV and multiple 138-kV lines – plus an extension, the BPU said.
· The transmission upgrade traverses through 10 municipal entities, the townships of Upper Pittsgrove, Pittsgrove, Franklin, Buena Vista, Hamilton, Weymouth, and Egg Harbor, the cities of Vineland and Estell Manor, and the Borough of Buena located in Salem, Cumberland, Gloucester, and Atlantic counties along existing ACE right of way, the BPU said.
According to ACE’s petition, the PJM Interconnection Board of Managers in July 2014 approved a set of upgrades for the ACE transmission system that were determined to be necessary due to the continued delay, and possible cancellation, of the proposed repowering of the B.L. England generating plant in Beesley’s Point, N.J., or the retirement of said plant.
The BPU added in its order that those upgrades had previously been presented at an April 2014 Transmission Planning Advisory Committee meeting at PJM. PJM required ACE to complete the installation of those upgrades, the BPU noted.
According to the company, the need for the project was identified as a result of a September 2013 notification by RC Cape May Holdings that repowering of the plant was suspended, the BPU said, adding that that planned work would have included a connection of the plant to the ACE BL England 138-kV substation.