Maryland utilities bullish on summer reliability efforts

As the temperature continues to rise in Maryland, the state’s electric utilities remain bullish about their capability to provide reliable service during the summer.

The state Public Service Commission (PSC) directed electric utilities in March to report on potential reliability concerns for the summer, as well as the transmission and distribution capability for their respective service territories.

Exelon

Exelon (NYSE:EXC) subsidiary Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE) said on May 23 that it does not anticipate customer load loss due to system capacity deficiencies this summer based on its review of reports from PJM Interconnection and others on generation and regional transmission adequacy, its assessment of its own system, the system projects that are underway, the load response programs in place and the forecasted peak demand load.

BGE’s projected demand response capability in the “Baltimore Zone” for June 1 is 511 MW of installed capacity (ICAP), which will be available to PJM and the BGE system operators to help maintain reliable transmission and distribution operations throughout the summer.

BGE also said its energy efficiency programs will have 145 MW of peak load reducing effect this summer.

BGE provided a status of its transmission system, noting that it has completed several transmission projects in advance of the summer season. These projects, which include rebuilding two Burtonsville-Sandy Spring 230-kV circuits and reconductoring the Crownsville Tap-Bestgate Terminal 115-kV circuit, will help meet the growing electricity demand and improve supply reliability.

Additionally, through the PJM planning process, several projects that will increase reliability in BGE’s service area are in various stages of development, including: building a new Deer Park-Northwest 115-kV circuit; building a new Hanover Pike-Northwest double circuit line; building a new Hanover Pike 500/230-kV substation; installing a new Orchard Street-Constitution Street 115-kV circuit; and rebuilding the Mount Storm-Doubs 500-kV circuit.

The projects also include the Northeast Transmission System Improvement, which involves building a new Conastone-Graceton 230-kV circuit and associated rebuilding of the Graceton 230-kV substation; building a new Graceton-Bagley 230-kV circuit; and building a new Bagley-Raphael Road 230-kV circuit and associated rebuilding of the Raphael Road 230-kV substation.

These projects and others that BGE anticipates will be included in future PJM expansion plans constitute a significant capital investment on behalf of the company.

BGE also said that generation interconnection requests within its service area are in various stages of the interconnection process and if built, those facilities will also increase reliability.

The company said it continues to collaborate with PJM to develop new operating procedures to be implemented in case of abnormal system conditions in various parts of BGE’s transmission system.

Pepco Holdings 

Pepco Holdings (NYSE:POM) subsidiary Potomac Electric Power Company (Pepco), in its May 23 comments, said that it is prepared to provide reliable electric service during the 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 (T&D) system that is tailored to its load requirements.

The company said that barring any unforeseen major events, it expects its transmission system to perform without problems throughout the year.

The company noted that it owns and maintains about 12,600 circuit miles of overhead and underground lines and there are 150 substations on its T&D system.

Pepco said it entered full requirements service agreements with numerous wholesale suppliers that fully met its standard offer service (SOS) load obligations for the planning period starting on June 1. Additionally, Pepco can reduce its system demand through its demand response programs, “Energy Wise Rewards” and “Peak Energy Savings Credit.”

The company said its projected summer demand response capability in Maryland is 202 MW.

On T&D, Pepco noted that it owns nearly 2,000 miles of transmission lines, including major portions of a 100-mile, 500-kV loop that encircles the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.

Pepco is in the process of executing a multi-year transmission expansion plan and several projects have been completed within the past year or are planned for completion before the summer.

Projects that will help meet the future demand and improve reliability include replacing the 500/230-kV transformer #1 at the Brighton substation to improve power flow for the PJM system and upgrading two 230-kV lines and associated bus equipment from the Oak Grove substation to the Ritchie substation to improve system reliability.

Pepco also said that several projects have been planned over the next five years that will increase reliability, including: upgrading one 230-kV circuit and converting one 138-kV circuit to 230-kV with associated equipment from the Buzzard Point substation to the Ritchie substation; upgrading a 230-kV line the Dickerson substation to the Quince Orchard substation; upgrading two 230-kV lines from the Burtonsville substation to the Bowie substation; and upgrading a 230-kV tower-line from the Burtonsville substation to the Takoma substation.

Furthermore, Pepco continues to study the impact various generation additions will have on the T&D system should they come to fruition.

Pepco also said that it has completed several distribution system improvements over the past year, including replacing system equipment such as poles, underground residential distribution cable, and fuses.

The company said it is prepared to respond to storms and other emergencies this year, noting that it created an emergency operations plan in 2012, and continues to implement a crisis communications plan and customer education plan regarding what customers can do to prepare for major outage events.

In its May 23 comments, Pepco Holdings’ subsidiary Delmarva Power also said it is prepared to meet the peak demands on its electric system for the summer.

The company owns and maintains nearly 14,400 circuit miles of overhead and underground lines and has 200 substations on its T&D system.

Like, Pepco, Delmarva Power said it is prepared to provide reliable electric service during the summer. Also, it entered full requirements service agreements with various wholesale suppliers that meet its SOS load obligations for the planning period starting on June 1. The company further noted that it can reduce its system demand through its demand response program, “Energy Wise Rewards,” a direct load control program for air conditioning.

Delmarva Power’s projected demand response and energy efficiency capability in the “Delmarva Maryland Zone” for June 1 is 42 MW of peak demand reduction capacity.

The company noted that it owns about 1,540 miles of transmission lines and barring any unforeseen major events, expects its transmission system to perform without problems throughout the year.

Delmarva Power is also in the process of executing a multi-year transmission expansion plan. Several projects that will help meet the future demand and improve reliability have been completed within the past year or are planned for completion before the summer, including rebuilding the 138-kV line between the Glasgow and Mt. Pleasant substations mitigating a thermal overload on the line following an N-1 event and installing a third 230/138-kV autotransformer at the Steele substation eliminating the possibility of overloading the two existing 230/138-kV autotransformers at Steele following an N-1-1 event.

Additionally, several projects have been planned over the next five years that will increase reliability, including rebuilding the 138-kV line between the Glasgow and Cecil substations mitigating a thermal violation on the Glasgow-Cecil line following an N-1-1 contingency event; rebuilding the 138-kV line between the Townsend and Church substations mitigating a thermal violation on the Townsend-Church line following an N-1-1 contingency event; and installing a new Wye Mills-Church 138-kV circuit mitigating low-voltage conditions on the 69-kV system supporting the area during N-1-1 contingency events.

As Pepco, Delmarva Power said it is prepared to respond to storms and other emergencies this year, noting that it created an emergency operations plan in 2012.

FirstEnergy 

Potomac Edison, a FirstEnergy (NYSE:FE) company said in its May 23 filing that based on the system conditions modeled, its transmission system is expected to sufficiently support forecast peak summer loading.

The company said it has adequate operational procedures to implement any PJM-required actions and to mitigate contingency conditions on the lower voltage systems, that is, less than 100 kV.

Major projects to be built before the summer that will affect the capability of the transmission system serving the company’s region include an ongoing project at the Doubs substation, which is scheduled to reach a milestone by June 1 as the control wiring for all of the extra high voltage (EHV) equipment is to be relocated to the new building; the reconductoring work on the Carroll-Catoctin 138-kV line, which is scheduled to be completed by June 1; and the installation of a new 230-34.5-kV transformer at the Damascus substation, which is planned to be completed by June 15.

Potomac Edison also noted that its actual 2012 summer peak demand was 1,529 MW, occurring on June 29, 2012.

The company said that a 28-MW reduction is projected at the time of the 2013 summer peak through residential programs and a 9-MW reduction is projected at that time through commercial and industrial and other programs.

On distribution summer readiness projects, Potomac Edison said the Split Bennett Creek Circuit project will add a new circuit out of the Urbana substation along Worthington Blvd., and provide an increased capacity to serve new customers in that subdivision. The in-service date is June 1.

Another project, the Split Cameron Circuit project will add a new circuit out of the Fairhill substation along Father Hurley Blvd., and will provide an increased capacity to customers in Germantown, Md. The in-service date is July 1.

The company also said it is replacing aging equipment and installing new monitoring technology to ensure continued reliability to about 13,000 customers in Allegany County, Md., and replacing underground distribution cables in Washington, Carroll, Montgomery and Frederick counties.

PJM

In its May 28 filing with the PSC, the grid operator said it expects to be able to reliably serve expected peak loads, which are expected to be slightly higher this summer than last summer. Demand response commitments may be slightly higher and at peak load conditions, transmission congestion can be expected on the paths into Washington D.C./Baltimore, Md./Northern Virginia.

PJM also noted that in August 2012, its board considered input from stakeholders and the results of the reliability analyses and decided to terminate the Mid-Atlantic Power Pathway (MAPP) project and the Potomac-Appalachian Transmission Highline (PATH) project, and remove them from the regional transmission expansion plan (RTEP).

Among other things, PJM said that as of May 1, it has 123 gas projects in its interconnection queue, as well as 94 wind projects, 17 nuclear projects, 90 solar projects, 12 coal projects and 13 storage projects.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 2929 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.