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Politics & Government

Delaware and Maryland get rehearing on transmission line cost sharing

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PJM Powerpoint presentation from April 2015
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Proposed transmission line from Delaware to Artificial Island nuclear complex in New Jersey

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has agreed to reconsider the cost allocation of a $278 million utility transmission line running from New Jersey to the First State.

Regional grid operator PJM Interconnection wants to construct a line from the Artificial Island nuclear site in southern New Jersey to the First State.

Members of FERC ruled in 2016 the allocation of project costs proposed by PJM Interconnection was fair. But the four commissioners who made that decision have been replaced with new appointees.

But Delaware and Maryland have argued 90 percent of the expense would fall on Delmarva ratepayers - who would only see 10 percent of the benefits.

Delaware’s Public Advocate Drew Slater says he hopes the commission will support a much lower cost-sharing percentage - reducing the expense on Delawareans.

“This is a really big deal because what FERC did yesterday by approving the rehearing request, and they specifically said, the cost allocation under the previous methodology was unjust and unreasonable.”

In a statement, PJM said the Artificial Island project is unique and is driven by the need to ensure system stability.

Slater said if PJM still plans to build the transmission line, it will have to satify the new FERC commissioners.

“I think PJM is going to have to come up with a new methodology because PJM is the one that found that the Artificial Island project was needed for stability reasons,” he said.

Alternative methodologies put forward by PJM last year would slash Delmarva ratepayers’ responsibility to less than 11 percent.

Comments by the parties involved on a new cost allocation formula are due in 60 days. PJM says it welcomes the opportunity to resolve the matter.

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