What seemingly prompted FirstEnergy's whiny letter to PJM's Board of Managers are certain SVC grid upgrade projects awarded to an independent company. FirstEnergy gets all territorial because there's money to be made, even though FirstEnergy has shown no prior interest in these projects. Dominion also gets into the act to steal one of the projects, which were developed by Primary Power over the course of 5 years at a cost to them of $5M.
Ah, we're not too far from the elementary school playground, are we fellas? Wassa matta... did someone have a better idea than you which could prove to be profitable? Feeling a little inferior and powerless so you thought you'd steal another company's idea and make money off it? Silly incumbent transmission owners!
FirstEnergy's accusations ring pretty hollow, after years of subjecting landowners and ratepayers to their unneeded, exorbitantly expensive PATH Project, which was selected by PJM through an arbitrary and capricious process. PJM's need case kept falling apart, year after year, until they just couldn't continue the charade any longer.
Here are a few unlikely phrases from FirstEnergy's letter. Substitute "PATH" for "SVC project" and it's clear that FirstEnergy agrees with us -- PJM's planning process is skewed to favor pet projects. First it was PATH, now it's Primary Power's SVC projects. That's called Karma, boys!
You can read Primary Power's version of events here.
PJM has rejected or ignored two equally effective and far less expensive alternatives...
...which is more cost-effective and faces fewer construction and permitting risks...
In short, the Rio SVC Project will result in PJM transmission customers bearing substantially excessive and unnecessary costs.
The RTEP produced through this process must "avoid unnecessary duplication of facilities" and "avoid the imposition of unreasonable costs on any Transmission Owner or any user of Transmission Facilities."
PJM is charged with the responsibility to identify and select the most appropriate solutions, whether or not they precisely match those proposed to PJM by project developers. In this instance, PJM failed to discharge and, indeed, abdicated its independent planning responsibility in a manner that appears to be arbitrary and capricious and may be unduly discriminatory...
As explained above, this decision constitutes an abdication of PJM's planning responsibility. Once PJM
determined that an SVC-based solution to the voltage criteria reliability concern was preferable, PJM had a duty
to evaluate and analyze the potential options for installing the required SVCs at locations that would provide an effective solution without producing excessive costs. The apparent failure to do so caused PJM to select an option that is unnecessarily costly, duplicates existing facilities, and may be more risky than alternatives (e.g.,
...it did not eliminate PJM's responsibility to evaluate alternative solutions to reliability concerns...
PJM's failure to evaluate construction of an SVC at Meadow Brook, and its failure to explain why Primary Power's SVC project is preferable, render inclusion of the Primary Power project in the RTEP indefensible. FirstEnergy urges the Board of Managers to require PJM to correct this deficiency.