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PJM evaluating PSE&G proposal to convert 138-kV segment to higher voltage


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PJM evaluating PSE&G proposal to convert 138-kV segment to higher voltage

proposed a $124.9 million transmission project in central NewJersey as part of the PJMInterconnection LLC's second window for regional transmissionexpansion projects, or RTEP.

PSE&G,a subsidiary of Public ServiceEnterprise Group Inc., is proposing to convert 138-kV circuitsbetween Metuchen, N.J., and Edison, N.J., into a single 230-kV circuit,according to a Sept. 15 presentation from PJM's Transmission Expansion AdvisoryCommittee. The project would involve eliminating a 138-kV circuit in Metuchen,and a 230/138-kV transformer at the Brunswick station in Edison.

Theconversion has three parts, but only the first part dealing with the Metuchenand Edison area circuits was submitted in PJM's second window.

"Onlythe Metuchen-Brunswick portion of the project was proposed to resolve the PSEGvoltage violations (Metuchen area) in window #2," a company spokespersonsaid by email.

Aspart of the conversion, PSE&G is also considering a $327 million conversionof a 24-mile stretch between the Brunswick station and the state capitol ofTrenton to 230 kV, and a $349 million conversion of 16 miles of circuit betweenTrenton and Burlington to the same voltage. But those projects have yet to beproposed in PJM's RTEP process.

Theconversion would strengthen an aged transmission system, parts of which are, insome cases, more than 80 years old, PJM said in the presentation.

Beforeproposing the 230-kV rebuild, PSE&G considered three other options thatwere not submitted in the RTEP's second window. One option would have replacedtransmission equipment in three legs along the Metuchen to Brunswick route byrebuilding the 138-kV line. This option would cost somewhat less than the230-kV conversion, according to the presentation.

Theutility also considered simply removing the existing equipment without addingreplacements, but this approach would create transmission risks for thepopulation-dense corridor known as a main throughput into New York City. Italso rejected an option to remove the old circuit and build a new circuit fromthe ground up that would involve underground construction and obtaining newtransmission right-of-way permits.

PSE&G's230-kV rebuild proposal is one of 87 proposals PJM received addressing problemsin 12 transmission zones, including some in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Ohio,Indiana and Illinois. Of the 87 proposals, 46 involved building new equipment,while another 41 proposals involved upgrades, according to the presentation. Aspart of the second window, American Electric Power Co. Inc. is studying whether tobuild a 60-mile, 345-kV double circuit in Indiana, a project estimated to cost$127.6 million.

PJMwas set to open its third window for proposals on Sept. 30, seeking projects toaddress reliability needs in 2021. The 13-state grid operator is alsointerested in proposals related to short-circuiting and those that support itsanalysis of light load reliability, which addresses whether PJM's transmissionsystem can reliably deliver electricity during periods of low power demand.