PJM: Decisions on Artificial Island, market efficiency solicitations expected in 1Q14

PJM recently closed two competitive solicitations, the market efficiency and Artificial Island solicitations, and expects to announce winners for both in 1Q14.

PJM annually performs a market efficiency analysis to identify the locations of the various congested flowgates. In August, the RTO  solicited technical solutions to relieve the top 25 internal congestion events from the 2013 market efficiency analysis for the 2017, 2020 or 2023 study years. The proposal window closed on Sept. 26.

The solicitation yielded 37 proposals, Steve Herling, vice president of transmission planning, told TransmissionHub.

“This is certainly more than we’ve gotten for individual problems,” Herling said. “We’ve had proposals submitted in the last few years for any number of different problems. In this case, we literally put out the entire volume of market efficiency work and basically allowed people to pick any flowgate and then try to address it, so by its nature it was much more broad in scope than anything we’ve done.”

PJM and the Midcontinent ISO (MISO) also held a solicitation process for transmission solutions to market-to-market congested flowgates, which closed Oct. 11.

“There’s a lot of overlap between that window and our market efficiency window because a number of the congested flowgates are in seams area between us and MISO,” Herling said, adding he did not yet know how many proposals were received. The RTO hasn’t developed a timeline for a decision for this process.

For the Artificial Island solicitation, Herling said PJM was only looking for transmission solutions, having exhausted other potential solutions, ranging from generation to demand response solutions.

“Artificial Island is a little unique in that it’s related to a stability problem at a nuclear generating facility connected to the 500‐kV system in southern New Jersey,” Herling said. “Due to stability concerns, we were operating the plants at higher voltage levels that were then leading to reliability problems around high voltage.”

PJM received 26 transmission proposals from seven entities. Those proposals ranged in scope from 230-kV lines to long 500-kV lines and a proposal for an HVDC line. The estimated costs of the proposed projects ranged from a “couple hundred million to a billion and a half dollars,” Herling said.

The variety of proposals should help PJM make a case for implementing the one it finally chooses, he added.

“I think based on the range of proposals and all the analysis that we do that we’ll have a pretty strong case to suggest that we’ve looked at the widest possible range of opportunities and hopefully we can defend that we’ve picked the best solution,” Herling said.

PJM is working to winnow the list down to four to six proposals “fairly soon” so that it can engage an engineering firm to validate cost estimates, among other things.

The Artificial Island solicitation closed on June 28.

About Rosy Lum 525 Articles
Rosy Lum, Analyst for TransmissionHub, has been covering the U.S. energy industry since 2007. She began her career in energy journalism at SNL Financial, for which she established a New York news desk. She covered topics ranging from energy finance and renewable policies and incentives, to master limited partnerships and ETFs. Thereafter, she honed her energy and utility focus at the Financial Times' dealReporter, where she covered and broke oil and gas and utility mergers and acquisitions.