Delaware, Maryland granted transmission line cost rehearing
DOVER — The Federal Regulatory Commission on Thursday granted a rehearing sought by Delaware and Maryland officials over planned cost allocations for a $278 million regional electric transmission line project.
The two states sought the rehearing after FERC in 2016 denied their complaint alleging that the cost-sharing formula used by regional grid operator PJM Interconnection was unfair.
The project calls for construction of a 230-kilovolt line from the Artificial Island nuclear complex in southern New Jersey to Delaware in order to improve system reliability.
Delaware and Maryland officials have argued that ratepayers on the Delmarva peninsula would pay more than 90 percent of the cost for a project that mostly benefits New Jersey. They have urged FERC to consider two alternative cost methodologies that would bring the cost share for Delmarva ratepayers to about 7 to 10 percent.
The commission declined to embrace either of the proposed alternative formulas, or a hybrid cost-allocation method proposed by Exelon. Exelon is the parent company of Delmarva Power and co-owner, along with Public Service Electric & Gas Co., of Artificial Island.
The commission did conclude, however, that it would be “unjust and unreasonable” to apply PJM’s proposed cost allocation to facilities that address stability-related reliability issues, including the Artificial Island project. The commission said it was establishing procedures to develop additional information to help it determine a just and reasonable cost allocation, with responses due in 60 days.
In a statement, PJM described the Artificial Island project as “unique,” and driven by the need to ensure system stability.