There is no longer any "reliability" or economic justification for these projects! They simply hang around like a stale house guest and continue to cost electric consumers in thirteen states higher electric bills that they can ill afford.
The last RPM auction in May 2011 showed that prices between eastern and western PJM have nearly levelized:
"In PJM's MAAC area the price of capacity will be $136.50 MW-day, a decrease of about $100 from last year. (The MAAC price applies to the transmission zones of Baltimore Gas and Electric Company, Metropolitan Edison Company, Pennsylvania Electric Company, and PPL Electric Utilities, Atlantic City Electric, Delmarva Power, Jersey Central Power and Light Company, PECO, Public Service Electric and Gas Company, and Rockland Electric Company.) The non-MAAC region, will pay the RTO price of $125.99, an increase of about $100. This region includes western Pennsylvania, western Maryland, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Kentucky and Virginia.
"The convergence of prices between the eastern and western regions of the market is primarily driven by the significant reduction in forecasted load growth through 2014/2015," Ott said."
Any justification for Project Mountaineer has long since evaporated. "Congestion" has eased, coal-fired electricity has become more expensive, and gas-fired generation in the East Coast load pockets has become cheaper than coal-by-wire. In addition, new gas-fired generation is being proposed near load. Any supposed "reliability" or "congestion" crisis has eased.
As far as Susquehanna-Roseland, PJM really needs to take a fresh look at that project. Their current plan is complete overkill. The existing line may be near the end of its useful life, however a simple rebuild may be the answer, instead of a brand new double-circuited 500kV line.
It's always "one more auction" with these guys, and there is always another auction down the road for the project owners to pin their hopes on. Project Mountaineer was an embarrassing blunder on the part of PJM. Let's put it to rest, move on, and quit wasting the scarce resources of PJM electric consumers on useless boondoggles!