By Amanda Durish Cook
Under the uncontested settlement accepted by FERC on Thursday, Exelon subsidiary Baltimore Gas and Electric’s pricing zone will bear more costs of the project while the Commonwealth Edison zone’s responsibility will not exceed $75,000 — less than half of the costs it was originally assigned. FERC said PJM must disburse refunds if the ComEd zone has already paid more than $75,000 (ER17-1016-001).
Proposed more than a decade ago, the $1.05 billion, 500-kV MAPP project would have extended about 230 miles from northeastern Virginia through southern Maryland and Delaware, crossing beneath the Chesapeake Bay and Choptank River to southwestern New Jersey.
In 2009, PJM assigned BGE two baseline upgrades for the project, but the RTO’s Board of Managers canceled the project in 2012, saying it was no longer needed to maintain reliability. The line was originally included in PJM’s 2007 Regional Transmission Expansion Plan.
Early last year, PJM submitted Tariff revisions on BGE’s behalf so the utility could recover about $1.2 million in abandoned plant costs.
The ICC protested, arguing that ComEd should not have to bear the costs of a canceled line that never stood to benefit its Midwestern territory. ComEd’s zone stood to incur 13.43% of the cost of BGE’s upgrades under PJM’s postage stamp cost allocation methodology.
“Given that MAPP is a canceled project, the ComEd zone does not derive any benefits from the MAPP project. … The load in the ComEd zone did not contribute to the reliability factors that caused PJM to add the MAPP project to the RTEP in the first place. The beneficiaries and cost causers of the MAPP project are located on the East Coast and that is where the commission should allocate the costs,” the ICC wrote.
The ICC also pointed to rulings by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which twice remanded FERC’s approval of PJM’s regionwide postage stamp cost allocation for new 500-kV+ transmission projects (See Despite Lengthy Negotiations, PJM Cost Allocation Settlement Still Finds Detractors.) The 7th Circuit said that PJM’s high-voltage lines are “all located in PJM’s eastern region, primarily benefit that region and should not be allowed to shift a grossly disproportionate share of their costs to western utilities on which the eastern projects will confer only future, speculative and limited benefits.”