I'm sure you all have seen TPL's post about PJM's new RTEP method that we dug up over the weekend. The big Midwest wind developers are urging PJM to include individual state Renewable Portfolio Standards in their planning process as a new driver for "need" for huge, new transmission projects. First PATH was needed for "reliability", to prevent brownouts and blackouts. When that evaporated, PATH was about relieving "congestion" in Maryland and lowering the cost of electricity in that state. When that evaporated, PATH went to ground to create new reasons why we "need" this unnecessary, costly boondoggle. Now PJM is attempting to insert themselves into the regulatory scene by babysitting public policy and ensuring that the states meet their individual RPS mandates. This means that transmission projects would now be "needed" simply to provide other states, such as Maryland, with the renewables they need to meet their RPS goals.
Where do the power companies think these renewables are going to come from? As Bill shows, AEP & Exelon and a Midwest wind front group (compare them to the telltale signs of a front group here - first clue - their phone number is a cell phone) think these renewables should be pumped into east coast states via huge, new transmission lines thousands of miles long. Notice that MAREC represents land based wind outfits. None of the off-shore wind companies who are developing the Atlantic wind projects are members.
Where does PJM think these renewables are going to come from? Take a look at PJM's proposed wind connection map. Compare it to the DOE's wind resources map. Looks like PJM thinks there's lots of wind to be had in West Virginia. If they manage to pull off the RPS goals planning scheme, plan on seeing a rebirth of the zombie freshly greenwashed.
Where's the logic in creating environmental destruction, taking land from thousands of citizens, and costing ratepayers billions of dollars to build new transmission lines hundreds of miles long in order to meet renewable goals in Maryland when a better renewable resource is right there at Maryland's fingertips in the form of off-shore wind? Not only that, but relieving "congestion" in Maryland with new transmission lines like PATH also increases the cost of electricity for others upstream of the bottleneck. "Upstream of the bottleneck" is us, the ones who sit between the proposed generation and the load. Why would it be just and reasonable to increase our costs in order to lower costs for others who are refusing to solve their own problems? Reality is that Maryland is not refusing to solve their own problems and meet their own renewable goals. The east coast states are developing off-shore wind to meet their RPS mandates, however, PJM (and its most influential members -- the 800-pound gorillas like AEP & Exelon) wants to dictate where renewables come from in order to create new transmission projects and fatten their bottom line.
PJM's RPPTF, the task force responsible for creating this new planning scenario, is meeting again today. Check out some of the documents on the agenda here.
Keep an eye on this! As Bill said, we're going to be moving a lot of this over to our Coalition for Reliable Power group and you will be seeing some big changes to the group in the very near future.
PATH is not green. Never has been, never will be.