VALLEY FORGE, Pa., May 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The PJM Interconnection Board today approved nearly $2 billion in electric transmission upgrades that will maintain reliable electric power supplies in the wake of recently announced power plant retirements. The PJM region includes 60 million people in 13 states and the District of Columbia.
Since November, generation owners in PJM have announced plans to retire nearly 14,000 megawatts (MW) of generation between May 2012 and the end of 2015 – enough generation to produce enough power to supply Indiana's needs for a year.
The PJM Board approved more than 130 transmission upgrades related to the generation retirements. The projects range from simple equipment replacements to new substations to rebuilding existing transmission lines and building new lines. The upgrades will allow electricity to flow safely from other sources to replace the retiring generation. Tomorrow, PJM will announce the results of its annual capacity auction which will procure additional power supply resources including demand response and energy efficiency.
"Even with the retirement of older coal-fired generators, we will have enough existing and new resources in the region to keep the lights on," said Terry Boston, PJM president and chief executive officer. "The transmission upgrades the board has approved ensure we will continue to deliver power to wherever people need it.
PJM is an independent regional power grid operator. One of its major responsibilities is to identify and plan improvements to the transmission system to ensure that power supplies remain reliable. The utilities that put their electric transmission systems under PJM's control are responsible for completing the work.
On a dollar basis, more than half of the improvements are in Ohio. The proposed retirement of generators along Lake Erie will require significant transmission upgrades in Ohio, particularly around Cleveland.
With today's upgrades, the PJM Board has approved the investment of $23.4 billion in transmission additions and upgrades since 2000.
PJM Interconnection, founded in 1927, ensures the reliability of the high-voltage electric power system serving 60 million people in all or parts of Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. PJM coordinates and directs the operation of the region's transmission grid, which includes 62,000 miles of transmission lines; administers a competitive wholesale electricity market; and plans regional transmission expansion improvements to maintain grid reliability and relieve congestion. Visit PJM at www.pjm.com.
SOURCE PJM Interconnection