PJM approves nearly $1 billion in electric transmission upgrades

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The PJM board has approved nearly $1 billion in additional electric transmission upgrades to maintain reliability power supplies for the 60 million people in PJM's region of 13 states and the District of Columbia. Altogether in 2012, the PJM board authorized $4.7 billion in transmission projects.

The approvals are part of PJM's Regional Transmission Expansion Plan, which is meant to ensure the reliability of the high-voltage transmission system over the next 15 years.

"The regional transmission expansion planning process keeps us on a steady course of focusing on long-term reliability even amid a sea of changes like those we've seen this past year," said Terry Boston, PJM president and chief executive officer. "We've seen announced retirements of almost 16,000 MW of generation and a dramatic shift toward an increase of natural gas-fired generation."

The regional plan includes a variety of projects throughout PJM's region in nearly all of its transmission zones. Among the diverse upgrade projects are improvements and changes to substations, transformers and existing transmission facilities.

Since PJM's formal planning process began in 2000, the board has authorized $23 billion in transmission additions and upgrades.

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 59,750 miles of transmission lines; administers a competitive wholesale electricity market; and plans regional transmission expansion improvements to maintain grid reliability and relieve congestion

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