- PJM Interconnection's board of directors this week approved more than $1.5 billion in electric transmission projects, including several large-scale upgrades the grid operator says are needed to address reliability issues in multiple areas.
- The decision means PJM has signed off on $30.8 billion in transmission projects since its first Regional Transmission Expansion Plan was first approved in 2000.
- The largest project will focus on infrastructure in Burlington, Mercer and Middlesex counties in New Jersey. The age of equipment in those areas will require rebuilding portions of existing transmission lines.
The PJM grid serves 13 states and the District of Columbia, a wide service territory that is in continuous need of maintenance and upgrade. And the recent project approvals include work also meant to stave off future reliability issues.
“The growing need to replace aging infrastructure, energy efficiency and the resulting reduction in the growth of demand for electricity are affecting transmission development,” PJM President and CEO Andy Ott said in a statement. “The current round of projects approved by the Board reflects the trend.”
The largest project approved will address "aging infrastructure" in New Jersey, the operator said, "requiring a rebuilding of portions of existing transmission lines."
In PSE&G's territory in north New Jersey, equipment will be replaced because it shows signs of wear and age. Some equipment is more than 80 years-old, according to PJM. The board approved a three-part project to rebuild 138 kV lines in the Metuchen-Edison-Trenton-Burlington corridor, raising their capacity to 230 kV.
The entire slate of projects will include transformer replacements, rebuilding line segments and making circuit upgrades. The projects are in the service territories of: Metropolitan Edison, PP&L, PSE&G, AEP, Dominion, and Duke Energy Ohio and Kentucky.