The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission take steps to protect Delawareans from increased electric rates.
On Tuesday, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) decided that power grid manager PJM’s $100-million transmission line project is too costly to Delawareans. According to the FERC, costs to build the line from the nuclear facilities at Artificial Island across the Delaware River “have not been shown to be just and reasonable, and may be unjust, unreasonable, or unduly discriminatory or preferential.”
PJM proposed the transmission project to generate maximum power from the nuclear power generating units at Artificial Island and improve the reliability of area transmission lines. Detailed reviews of the plans and alternatives eventually led PJM to propose the construction of a 230 kV power line from Artificial Island to Red Lion in Delaware. However, FERC officials determined even that wasn’t feasible because customers of Delmarva Power & Light Company, Delaware Municipal Electric Corporation, and the Delaware Electric Cooperative would absorb much of the costs.
“I want to thank the FERC for its review and very sensible conclusion that the costs of a project designed to maximize power production and improve reliability in New Jersey should not fall entirely on Delaware and Maryland consumers,” Gov. Jack Markell said.
As a result FERC is now ordering its staff to establish a “technical conference” to explore whether projects like Artificial Island should be funded by an alternative allocation that does not impose costs entirely on electricity customers.
Gov. Markell originally opposed such costs to Delaware electricity users in a July 10 letter to the PJM Board of Managers and again in an August 20 submission to the FERC, which approves PJM cost allocations.