Delaware files complaint over PJM costs

 (Al Goldis/AP Photo, file)

(Al Goldis/AP Photo, file)

The Delaware Public Service Commission has filed a complaint with Federal Energy Regulatory Commission over the costs to Delaware customers for new transmission lines.

The federal complaint is the latest protest from Delaware over how the cost of PJM Interconnection’s plans to fund electrical stability improvements are broken down by state. The Artificial Island project is an effort to improve electrical stability in the region for power coming from PSEG Nuclear’s Salem power plant. 

In the complaint, chairman of the Delaware PSC Dallas Winslow said the cost allocation is “patently unfair and inequitable to Delaware ratepayers.” The complaint said the cost split would require customers on the Delmarva Peninsula, including all Delaware customers, to pay 90 percent of the project’s $275 million price tag.

In July, Delaware Governor Jack Markell sent a letter to the PJM board complaining about that cost allocation. “It seems patently unfair,” Markell said in the letter. The project is not specifically designed to help Delaware, which makes the cost burden for the state’s customers especially disagreeable for Markell. “Allocating to Delaware and Maryland consumers the bulk of those costs for a project not necessitated by demand in this area is neither reasonable nor equitable.”

According to the PSC complaint, Delaware ratepayers could see costs increase by 25 to 30 percent by 2018. That would increase bills for Delmarva Power customers by about $2 per month, while commercial and industrial energy users will see significantly higher costs.

The project includes 500KV substation work in New Jersey, 230KV transmission line work in Delaware, and a new 230KV transmission line to be built under the Delaware River between Salem and a new substation in Delaware. That new Delaware substation would connect to existing 230KV transmission lines near Red Lion.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.