Maryland judge denies substation for PATH, agrees with zoning board

A Maryland judge has agreed with a local zoning board in denying Potomac Edison permission to build an electrical substation involving the suspended Potomac-Appalachian Transmission Highline (PATH) project, a company spokesperson said Feb. 23.

He confirmed a Feb. 22 Associated Press article, which noted that Circuit Judge Edward Dwyer affirmed the board’s denial of the company’s plan to build the substation near Mount Airy, Md.

The spokesperson told TransmissionHub that the company has not received the judge’s decision but when it does, it will review it and respond appropriately.

“The matter before the Circuit Court did not address the jurisdictional issue as to whether the Maryland Public Service Commission or Fredrick County [Md.] would have the final authority over the approval of the proposed substation,” the spokesperson said. “The PATH project remains suspended, as directed by PJM Interconnection, the regional grid operator, pending additional analysis at a later date.”

The local zoning board made its decision in late 2010, the spokesperson said, noting that the PATH project would have ended at the substation.

The location was chosen because there were large 500-kV lines, from both Constellation Energy (NYSE:CEG) subsidiary Baltimore Gas and Electric and Pepco Holdings (NYSE:POM) subsidiary Potomac Electric Power Company nearby. The substation was needed because PATH was proposed as a 765-kV line, the spokesperson added.

The PATH “project is suspended – there is no timetable, whatsoever,” the spokesperson continued.

Indeed, American Electric Power (NYSE:AEP) and FirstEnergy (NYSE:FE) said in February 2011 that their affiliates would file to withdraw their applications for state regulatory approval of the PATH project following a PJM announcement that the project had been suspended.

PATH is a joint venture between the former Allegheny Energy and AEP to build a 765-kV, 275-mile transmission project from Putnam County, W.Va., to Frederick County, Md. Allegheny merged with FirstEnergy, effective Feb. 25, 2011, according to the statement.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3209 Articles
Corina Rivera-Linares, chief editor for TransmissionHub, has covered the U.S. power industry for the past 15 years. Before joining TransmissionHub, Corina covered renewable energy and environmental issues, as well as transmission, generation, regulation, legislation and ISO/RTO matters at SNL Financial. She has also covered such topics as health, politics, and education for weekly newspapers and national magazines. She can be reached at clinares@endeavorb2b.com.