LETTER TO THE EDITOR: PJM treating Delmarva region customers unfairly

Delmarva electricity customers could unfairly bear the costs of new transmission lines that would primarily benefit New Jersey residents.

The regional transmission owners of the PJM grid recently voted to proceed with their planned cost-allocation measures despite pleas from Gov. Jack A. Markell, the public advocate for Delaware and the chairman of the Delaware Public Service Commission.

David Bonar

David Bonar

The planned regional transmission line would connect generators at Artificial Island on the New Jersey side of the Delaware River with the rest of the grid, giving greater capacity to handle the large loads of electricity into New Jersey.

The costs of building this new transmission line would be nearly 99 percent funded by residents of the Delmarva Peninsula. The total cost has been estimated to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars, with untold future expenses for maintaining it.

In a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Gov. Markell pointed out the perils of such a cost allocation and the economic dangers it presents, as filed by PJM, to Delaware residents and businesses who depend on electricity for their daily lives.

I believe the governor is spot-on in his assessment of the perils this places on our ratepayers. Not only are we struggling to meet or exceed our renewable-energy goals in cleaning up our environment, but transmission owners are now putting undue upward pressure on our rates by utilizing a cost-allocation process that is patently unfair.

I hope the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission recognizes this poor management decision and instructs PJM to go “back to the drawing board” to come up with a more-equitable cost-sharing mechanism.

David L. Bonar
Public Advocate

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