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PJM board authorizes $1 billion in electric transmission projects

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PJM Interconnection said that its board has authorized $1 billion in various electric transmission projects – including reliability and market efficiency improvements – to ensure efficient and reliable power supplies for the 65 million customers that PJM serves.

PJM noted that the board approved upgrades in areas served by American Electric Power; FirstEnergy’s American Transmission Systems, and Pennsylvania Electric Co.; Exelon’s Commonwealth Edison; Dominion; East Kentucky Power Cooperative; and Public Service Enterprise Group’s Public Service Electric & Gas.

Many of the individual projects cost less than $5 million, PJM said.

One project that is estimated to cost $197 million will reinforce 69-kV transmission lines to maintain reliable electricity supplies for more than 15,000 customers in Union County, N.J., PJM said.

According to the PJM Sept. 14 Transmission Expansion Advisory Committee “Reliability Analysis Update,” the estimated $197 million project in the PSEG Transmission Zone involves building a 230/69-kV station at Springfield; building a 230/69-kV station at Stanley Terrace; and building a 69-kV network between Front Street, Springfield, and Stanley Terrace.

Discussing the problem that the project would solve, the update noted that the Springfield substation is supplied by two 230-kV underground lines. The update also noted that Springfield supplies more than 10,000 customers with load in excess of 80MVA. An N-1-1 event would result in a complete loss of electric supply to the station for more than 24 hours. Stanley Terrace, the update added, is supplied by two 230-kV underground lines. Stanley Terrace will supply more than 5,000 customers with an anticipated load in excess of 37MVA. An N-1-1 event would result in a complete loss of electric supply to the station.

The required in-service date is June 1, 2018, the update added.

Another project involving the construction of a new 69-kV line will serve customers near Camden, N.J., and is estimated to cost $98 million, PJM said.

According to the update, the estimated $98 million project in the PSEG Transmission Zone involves building a new 230/69-kV switching substation at Hilltop utilizing the PSE&G property and the K-2237 230-kV line; building a new line between Hilltop and Woodbury 69-kV, providing the third supply; and converting Runnemede’s straight bus to a ring bus (eliminating the bus fault violation) and building a 69-kV line from Hilltop to Runnemede 69-kV.

Discussing the problem that the project would solve, the update noted that the Runnemede 69-kV substation is supplied by only two 69-kV lines; load exceeds 46 MW. One of the lines has portions of the circuit fed by underground cable that would take longer than 24 hours to restore during an outage. In addition, the update added, a breaker failure on the Runnemede 69-kV bus would result in the loss of both 69-kV supply lines and a complete substation shutdown, interrupting more than 11,000 customers.

As a result, there is a need to enhance the station design and provide a third source to the Runnemede station.

The Woodbury station, after conversion to 69 kV, will be supplied by two 69-kV lines from the Gloucester 69-kV station with no other 69-kV source in the near vicinity to supply the third source, leaving a need to provide a third supply to satisfy FERC Form 715 requirements.

The update added that the cost-effective solution for the southern area is to convert stations to 69 kV. Long term, it will be cost effective to supply all PSE&G stations in Gloucester and Camden County from 69 kV because there is less infrastructure required and the system benefits from being planned to, and operating at, higher voltages, the update said.

The required in-service date is June 1, 2018, according to the update.

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