Saturday, November 18, 2017

FERC OKs PJM Exemption of sub-200-kV Facilities from Competition

FERC on Thursday accepted PJM’s proposal to exempt transmission facilities that operate below 200 kV from its competitive proposal process (ER16-1335).

In April, PJM proposed the exemption, which designates the incumbent transmission owner to address such projects. The RTO then clarified in a compliance filing requested by FERC that all costs for such projects would be allocated to the single TO zone in which the transmission facility is located. (See “PJM Plans to Exclude Certain Upgrades in Order 1000 Upgrade Process,” PJM Planning Committee & TEAC Briefs.)

pjm ferc transmission facilities

LSP Transmission Holding protested that PJM’s plan “removes competitive opportunities,” but FERC rejected the argument. The commission noted that PJM will identify transmission solutions for reliability violations on exempted facilities and include a transmission planning process that complies with Order 890.

“We deny [LSP’s] contention that the compliance filing unjustifiably removes competitive opportunities for transmission solutions to address reliability violations,” the order read. “The commission determined PJM’s proposal balanced the potential advantages of identifying, through the competitive proposal window process, the more efficient or cost-effective transmission solution to these particular transmission needs with the time and resources that PJM must expend to evaluate proposals submitted to address such transmission needs.

“The commission recognized that while there may be advantages to identifying solutions to some transmission needs arising from reliability violations on transmission facilities operating below 200 kV through a competitive proposal window process, PJM’s data demonstrated that the number of such cases (less than 1%) is de minimis as compared to the total number of reliability violations on transmission facilities operating below 200 kV.”

Rory D. Sweeney

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