"A spokesman for the group, which has more than 750 members, many with ties to the commercial power industry, said the project doesn't meet PJM's goal of providing reliable and low-cost energy to its customers.
"'It's something that doesn't fit into our existing framework,' Ray Dotter said."
It doesn't fit into their existing framework. Perhaps that's because PJM never completed studying it last year due to "resource limitations." However, PJM did manage to find the "resources" to study importing 40% renewables into PJM from "wind profiles for resources further west of PJM."
It doesn't "fit into their existing framework" because they don't want it to "fit into their existing framework." PJM is first and foremost a cliquish cartel ruled by Ohio Valley coal-dependent generators. These PJM bullies don't want offshore wind to upset their status quo. Onshore wind from the midwest will provide opportunities for these companies to own profitable portions of an "energy superhighway" envisioned to move these renewables to population centers on both coasts. Once this "superhighway" is in place, it will also provide them with an opportunity to undercut intended renewables with new and expanded coal-fired generation in electricity markets. Offshore wind will cut into their current market share of load on the east coast, and require only a minimal amount of new transmission at four proposed injection points along the coast. It will not provide expanded opportunities to get coal-fired generation to market.
The fact that offshore wind does not require a new, nationwide grid of transmission lines is one of its best selling points. Transmission lines are expensive to build (estimates are currently more than $300B for the "superhighway"), take land through eminent domain, and face fierce opposition which causes project delays, or even cancellation of the entire project. A recent article in Public Utilities Fortnightly estimates that onshore renewable generation, backup generation to support it, and required new transmission could top $500B. The article, entitled "The Not-So-Green-Superhighway" (sorry, no link, you need a subscription to view online content by this snooze-fest) was written by the same author of this presentation. Although the presentation is not as recent or extensive as the article, the article sets forth the same basic idea that was presented at the National Coal Council's 2010 Spring Meeting. After stating that "RES transmission could enable expansion of coal-fired generation by equivalent of 30 new plants by 2020," the presentation concludes that "When public understands this, there will be reaction." Well, consider this your notice. React!
Offshore wind is being presented as more expensive than onshore wind. Those estimates do not take into account the cost of getting onshore wind to market via $300B of new transmission. When the true cost of onshore wind is recognized, it's not such a bargain after all. The PJM cartel needs to quit dragging its subservient feet and stonewalling offshore wind.