Maryland utilities bullish on summer reliability

Ahead of a 2012 summer reliability status conference to be held on May 24, Maryland utilities told state regulators they are prepared for the coming heat.

According to Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE), on April 16, the state Public Service Commission (PSC) directed electric utilities to report on any potential reliability concerns for the summer, as well as the transmission and distribution capability for their respective service territories.

BGE said it expects the load to remain relatively flat for the next two summers before the economic rebound takes hold.

Based on its review of reports on generation and regional transmission adequacy, its assessment of the BGE system, the system projects that are underway, the load response programs in place and the forecast peak demand load, BGE said it does not expect customer load loss due to system capacity deficiencies this summer. This, however, does not preclude outages caused by equipment problems and/or weather event conditions, the Constellation Energy (NYSE:CEG) subsidiary added.

BGE said it has completed, or is in the process of completing, several transmission projects in advance of this year’s summer season. Those projects, which will help meet the growing electricity demand and improve supply reliability in the service area, include the rebuild of the High Ridge 230-kV substation.

Additionally, through the PJM Interconnection planning process, several projects that will increase reliability in BGE’s service area are in various stages of development, including rebuilding the Mount Storm-Doubs 500-kV line from the Mount Storm substation to the Doubs substation.

BGE also said it has completed several distribution projects within the past year that have helped meet the growing electricity demand and/or improve supply reliability in its service territory, including new or upgraded substation transformers.

In their separately filed comments, Pepco Holdings (NYSE:POM) subsidiaries Potomac Electric Power (Pepco) and Delmarva Power and Light said they are prepared to provide reliable electric service this summer due to a planning process that includes meeting load-serving responsibility through generation resources as well as planning and investing in a transmission and distribution system that is tailored to the requirements of the companies’ loads.

Barring any unforeseen major events, Pepco and Delmarva Power said they expect their transmission systems to perform without problems throughout 2012.

Pepco said that several transmission projects, which will help meet the future demand and improve reliability within the service territory, have been completed within the past year or are planned for completion before this summer, including adding a third 500/230-kV transformer at Burches Hills to improve power flow for the PJM system.

Furthermore, throughout the PJM planning process, several projects have been planned over the next five years that will increase reliability in the Pepco area, including upgrading two 230-kV lines from Burtonsville to Bowie.

Pepco also said it continues to study the impact various generation additions will have on the transmission and distribution system should they come to fruition.

Among other things, Pepco said it has developed a new estimated times of restoration (ETR) process that is designed to minimize the number of ETR changes a customer will receive and increase the accuracy of the ETR provided.

Delmarva Power also said several projects have been completed within the past year or are planned for completion before this summer, including adding a second 138-kV transmission line between Indian River and Bishop substations, providing a second source to improve reliability in the Maryland beach area.

Additionally, throughout the PJM planning process, several projects have been planned over the next five years that will increase reliability in the Delmarva area, including adding a second 138-kV transmission line and rebuilding the existing 138-kV transmission line between Mt. Pleasant and Glasgow substations, which will increase the import capability into the southern Delmarva Peninsula during high system load periods.

Delmarva Power also said it is prepared to respond to storms and other emergencies this year while meeting or exceeding customer needs.

In its filing, FirstEnergy’s (NYSE:FE) Potomac Edison said that based on the system conditions modeled, its transmission system is expected to sufficiently support forecast peak summer loading.

PJM has adequate operational procedures identified to effectively control and mitigate contingency outage conditions on the transmission system.

Potomac Edison also said it has adequate operational procedures to implement any PJM required actions and to mitigate contingency conditions on the lower voltage systems (less than 100 kV).

An on-going project at the Doubs substation will reach a major milestone by June 1 as the control wiring for two major pieces of transmission equipment will be relocated to the new control building, the company said.

Among other things, Potomac Edison noted that the 2011 summer peak demand occurred on July 22, 2011, at 1,607 MW.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3286 Articles
Corina Rivera-Linares was TransmissionHub’s chief editor until August 2021, as well as part of the team that established TransmissionHub in 2011. Before joining TransmissionHub, Corina covered renewable energy and environmental issues, as well as transmission, generation, regulation, legislation and ISO/RTO matters at SNL Financial from 2005 to 2011. She has also covered such topics as health, politics, and education for weekly newspapers and national magazines.