FERC Rejects Putting End of Life transmission Projects under PJM's RTEP Transmission planning process
In ER20-2308, PJM filed a proposal developed by PJM Stakeholders to provide a structure for end-of-life (EOL)-driven transmission projects to be reviewed and developed under PJM’s Regional Transmission Expansion Plan (RTEP). The Proposal would: (1) obligate PJM TOs to submit a binding notification to PJM of facilities that will reach their EOL within six years; (2) require PJM TOs to develop an EOL program, including criteria, for facilities approaching EOL status; (3) require PJM TOs to provide PJM a 10-year, forward-looking list of facilities’ EOL Conditions; (4) exclude the planning of EOL facilities from the RTEP reliability exemption for transmission facilities under 200 kV; and (5) remove the planning of EOL facilities from Attachment M-3 and include all EOL facilities under the PJM RTEP planning process. This proposal was opposed by the PJM TOs.
FERC rejected the Proposal, finding that, under applicable agreements, the PJM TOs retain the rights to maintain their transmission facilities and when facilities should be retired, and that PJM’s authority extended to directing the operation of the transmission facilities, administering the PJM OATT, and administering the RTEP process. FERC also found that a transmission project to address EOL Conditions that is limited to replacing existing equipment, or that involves only an incidental increase in transmission capacity, does not involve expansion or enhancement of the regional transmission system. Such a replacement project does not fall under regional transmission planning under the PJM Operating Agreement as it relates solely to maintenance of existing facilities, and it does not “expand” or “enhance” the PJM grid. Transmission projects to address an EOL Condition that replace existing equipment involve decisions regarding retirement and maintenance of existing equipment, a responsibility that the PJM TOs specifically retained.
Dr. Paul Dumais
CEO of Dumais Consulting with expertise in FERC regulatory matters, including transmission formula rates, reactive power and more.