Artificial Island Project Halted For Now

Wilmington – Governor Markell commended the Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Maryland Interconnection (PJM) board on Friday, for its decision to suspend further action on the Artificial Island project pending further review. He said that the decision is one that the State of Delaware welcomes. The project as it was proposed would have placed an unjust burden on the state, resulting in higher electric rates for our consumers and businesses. His hope is that upon further review, a more equitable solution can be identified.

PJM Press Release

“(Valley Forge, Pa. – August 5, 2016) – The PJM Interconnection Board has suspended the Artificial Island transmission project and directed PJM to perform a comprehensive analysis to support a future course of action. The announcement came today in a letter to PJM members.

The board asked for the review to be completed by February 2017, at which time, it said, PJM will be in a better position to decide how best to proceed.

“The board is concerned about the project’s estimated costs and changing scope in light of new estimates and technical information it has received,” said Andrew L. Ott, PJM president and CEO. “We need a firmer understanding of the changes that have occurred since the project was initially approved to ensure that we have the best path forward.”

PJM has been working with transmission owners and developers to resolve voltage and stability problems at the Artificial Island generating complex in southern New Jersey. The problems require grid operators to make complex operational adjustments to ensure continued reliable electricity service in the area.

In 2015, the PJM Board approved a proposal to build a 230-kilovolt transmission line under the Delaware River. It designated LS Power to build the line and Public Service Electric & Gas and Pepco Holdings Inc. for other portions of the project including electric substation work.

Because of the complexities of design at two substations, PSE&G’s construction estimates were higher than the initial estimates prepared by PJM. Questions also have arisen about whether proposed system protection and control upgrades would perform as intended.

PJM Interconnection, founded in 1927, ensures the reliability of the high-voltage electric power system serving 61 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 72,075 miles of transmission lines; administers a competitive wholesale electricity market; and plans regional transmission”

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First State Update's Delaware editorial team covers New Castle County, Kent County and Sussex County breaking news, political news, and general news stories. We bring the reader the latest news from the Wilmington, Newark, Dover, Rehoboth Beach and all point in between. If you have news to share, email us at desk@firststateupdate.com.