We all know about Project Mountaineer, PJM's 2005 plan to increase west-east transfer of coal-fired electricity by 5,000 MW. Project Mountaineer was hatched after Allegheny Energy, American Electric Power and other Ohio Valley coal-dependent generators joined PJM in the early 2000s. Was there a scheme for these power companies to enrich themselves with the help of PJM's "transparent planning process" while PJM received the benefit of increasing its footprint? Seems that way to me.
See Allegheny Energy's 2006 plan for the TrAIL line, which was conceived as a much different project than is now being built. Their original plan was to include a segment to Bedington (Berkeley Co., WV) which would tie with a segment from Bedington to Kemptown, where they would build a new substation. This part of the plan was carried over to the PATH project, and PATH was expanded to give a little gravy to AEP by feeding from their John Amos plant and increasing the planned capacity to utilize AEP's 765kV technology.
In Allegheny's plan, "As conceived, Project Mountaineer would consist of one or more transmission system reinforcement projects to enhance the west-to-east transfer capability of the entire PJM Transmission System. PJM envisioned its independent planning process, known at the Regional Transmission Expansion Planning Protocol as the vehicle for identifying a comprehensive plan for Project Mountaineer."
So, the RTEP is nothing more than a "vehicle" to advance Project Mountaineer -- it has nothing to do with actual need, reliability or planning for the stability of the grid. The RTEP is a means to accomplish Allegheny's financial goals.
Allegheny used PJM's "vehicle" to propose a new transmission project completely in the AP (Allegheny Power) Zone, which would give them all the control and all the profits.
"Following PJM's announcement of Project Mountaineer, Allegheny Power (AP), a transmission owner within the PJM Region, began reviewing various transmission system enhancement opportunities within the AP Zone that would provide significant increases in the west-to-east transfer capability within the entire PJM Region and could be incorporated into PJM's Regional Transmission Expansion Plan (RTEP)".
Allegheny approached PJM with the "opportunity" for inclusion in the "vehicle". It's not about increasing electrical demand, blackouts or congestion. It's about increasing energy company profits and expanding PJM's footprint.
AEP's Interstate Project was originally conceived as, "American Electric Power has outlined plans to build a new 765-kilovolt (kV) transmission line stretching from West Virginia to New Jersey. The proposed transmission superhighway would span approximately 550 miles. It is designed to reduce congestion costs in the PJM regional transmission region by substantially improving the ability to transfer electricity from west-to-east".
Here we go again with another proposal that will enrich a power company and conveniently fits into PJM's Project Mountaineer plan and is being proposed as an addition to the "vehicle".
So, when PATH tells you that PJM has determined that we need the PATH project for grid reliability, increased demand for electricity and to prevent blackouts in West Virginia, Virginia and Maryland, you should laugh in their faces.
It's all one big, incestuous conspiracy created by greed and thirst for power (but not the kind that PATH proposes to transport).
Can't change history.