The National Park Service is targeting a decision on the Susquehanna-Roseland line by October 2012, a PJM official told TransmissionHub on the sidelines of the EEI Transmission, Distribution & Metering conference Oct. 10.
The 145-mile, 500-kV project proposed by PPL’s (NYSE:PPL) PPL Electric Utilities and Public Service Enterprise Group (NYSE:PEG) subsidiary Public Service Electric and Gas would run from the Susquehanna substation in Pennsylvania to the Roseland substation in New Jersey.
The project will have an impact on three units of the National Park Service: the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, the Middle Delaware National Scenic and Recreational River and National Recreation Water Trail, and the Appalachian National Scenic Trail.
The National Park Service’s current schedule calls for a decision by “fall of 2012,” a spokesperson for Public Service Enterprise Group said in an email to TransmissionHub on Oct. 7. The NPS pushed the decision date from the first quarter of 2013.
The line is expected to be in service in 2015.
The National Park Service’s approval is the final approval needed for the line to enter construction. New Jersey and Pennsylvania won’t issue construction permits until all approvals are in place, Steve Herling, PJM vice president of planning told TransmissionHub on the sidelines of the conference.
The project was among seven transmission projects chosen to be fast-tracked for permitting by the Obama administration’s rapid response team for transmission.
“I’d love to see that get done because that’s just a pure reliability [project],” Herling said.
“The load in New Jersey is strong. It’s not growing at a tremendous rate right now but it’s so densely populated that there’s really not much opportunity to insert any new generation, so you can only serve it by bringing in more transmission,” he said.
Herling added PJM had an “inkling” that the project would be chosen as part of the pilot program.
“Conceptually, it’s great that that emphasis is being placed,” Herling said in reference to the accelerated permitting process. “The ‘how’ is the issue – what they are going to do in Washington to make those projects move faster.”