PJM: Board lifts suspension on approximate $280m Artificial Island project

PJM Interconnection on April 6 said that its board has approved lifting the suspension on the Artificial Island project, which PJM said will strengthen the reliability and transmission of high-voltage power from two nuclear generating stations in southern New Jersey.

The board initially approved the project in 2015 as a result of a competitive solicitation process, and called for construction of a 230-kV transmission line under the Delaware River, PJM said. The board designated LS Power to build the line, as well as Public Service Enterprise Group’s (NYSE:PEG) (PSEG) Public Service Electric & Gas and Delmarva Power, an Exelon (NYSE:EXC) company, for other portions of the project, including electric substation work, PJM said.

The board last August suspended the project, and directed PJM to perform a comprehensive analysis to support a future course of action, PJM said.

PJM noted that it reviewed its analysis with a stakeholder advisory committee.

The board reinforced support for building the 230-kV line from the area where the Salem and Hope Creek nuclear facilities operate to a new substation to be built in northern Delaware, PJM said.

Among the modifications to the original solution, the line will now be connected at the Hope Creek substation instead of the Salem substation, PJM said, noting that the project is expected to cost about $280m, and to be in service June 2020.

A PSE&G spokesperson told TransmissionHub on April 6: “While we continue to believe that PSE&G’s proposal is the best solution from both a project and cost perspective, we respect PJM’s decision and are committed to working with them. Having just received the PJM correspondence ourselves, we are still in the process of reviewing its content. However, we have assured PJM that we will construct our parts of the project with the same skill, experience and environmental sensitivity our team has demonstrated on all of our transmission projects.”

The spokesperson continued: “We have not received a construction responsibility letter from PJM. After receiving that letter, we will begin to develop a construction schedule for the PSE&G portion of the project.”

As TransmissionHub reported last month, PJM staff recommended lifting the suspension on the 230-kV transmission line from Artificial Island to the new Silver Run substation (b2633.1 and b2633.2).

According to a Transmission Expansion Advisory Committee (TEAC) March 3 document, in consideration of all of the factors, PJM staff also recommended:

  • Changing the interconnection point at Artificial Island from Salem to the Hope Creek substation (A PSE&G spokesperson told TransmissionHub on March 6 that the Hope Creek substation is located on Artificial Island in Hancocks Bridge, N.J. A PJM spokesperson told TransmissionHub on March 6 that the Artificial Island site contains the Hope Creek and Salem nuclear generating stations, and there is a Hope Creek 500-kV switchyard as well as a Salem 500-kV switchyard)
  • Eliminating the New Freedom Static Var Compensator (SVC) and the optical ground wire (OPGW) relay upgrade projects (b2633.6, b2633.7, and b2633.8) from the Artificial Island project scope
  • Implementing a voltage schedule for the Salem and Hope Creek units
  • Revising the project in-service date to June 1, 2020

The document noted that if a future need is identified for an OPGW/relay upgrade, a solution would be pursued separately and would not be associated with the Artificial Island project.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3058 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.