Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Proposed power line across Appalachia is in limbo

American Electric Power announced Monday it will withdraw applications for approval for the massive Potomac-Appalachian Transmission Highline, which we have reported on previously here. Construction of the line could raise rates not only for customers in the three states it would cross, but also in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and North Carolina.

The announcement came after PJM Interconnection, a private agency that runs the region's electric grid, recommended that AEP and its partner, FirstEnergy, "suspend efforts" on the project because of the slow economic recovery, Ken Ward Jr. of The Charleston Gazette reports. (Black line on map shows proposed route; sorry for low resolution)
PJM's president said its action "does not, at this time, constitute a directive by PJM to the sponsoring transmission owners to cancel or abandon the PATH project," and said the grid operator would do a "more rigorous analysis." In early January the West Virginia Public Service Commission delayed hearings about the West Virginia portion of the project until October. Michael G. Morris, CEO of AEP, said "We remain convinced that the project will be needed and plan to move forward with it when PJM completes its review." (Read more)

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