PJM has been whining for years about all the "congestion" between western PJM coal-fired generators and east coast load. It was their basis for the failed $6B Project Mountaineer scheme.
See PJM's 2012 Market Efficiency Analysis Results presentation that is on the agenda for tomorrow's TEAC meeting. As we've been telling you here and on The Power Line, PJM's "congestion" situation has changed dramatically since Project Mountaineer was proposed.
Slide 3 tells us:
Significant drivers of congestion differences in 2011 and 2012 simulation results.
- Gas prices relative to coal much lower resulting in less coal units committed and less west to east transfers.
- Reactive upgrades on high voltage system led to significant increase in reactive transfer capability for future years.
- Decreased load forecast relative to previous years.
- Generation portfolio shifts to include more gas due to sustained lower gas prices, coal retirements and a net increase in natural gas generating capacity near load pockets.
- Emissions policies impact unit commitment/dispatch and shift to higher commitment of natural gas burning generation.
As far as Susquehanna-Roseland goes, look at slides 4 & 5 where S-R and the Mt. Storm Doubs rebuild appear to alleviate "congestion." While PJM pats themselves on the back for conquering the congestion monster, notice that some "congestion" simply moves to other areas. Every change to the transmission system causes other changes. They're never going to fix it all, just simply shift it among different consumers like a big electric bill fairy.
Now let's move on to slide 6 where we see "Constraints with at least $5 million Congestion Reduction and Upgrade(s) responsible for reduction." Susquehanna-Roseland is credited with congestion reduction only twice in the table, and one of those instances is combined with reactive upgrades. If we're generous here, we'll say S-R "saves" $32M per year in congestion costs for that line item. The second reference to S-R credits it with saving $12M in "congestion" costs. If we add those up, we've got $44M per year possible savings. However, S-R is probably going to end up costing in the neighborhood of $200M per year when it's completed. What the heck, PJM? Thanks a lot for the "efficient" cleaning out of my wallet.
Abracadbra! PJM's "efficient" markets have even more magic to perform for me! That $44M in yearly "congestion" savings accrues only to the load pockets on the east coast (not me!), however S-R's $200M yearly cost is shared by all 61 million PJM consumers in the entire 13-state region (me included)! Wow! Sign me up! It warms my heart to pay $156M to save other people $44M in "congestion" costs! In fact, I'm now feeling so generous that I think I'll hop in the car, clean out my bank account, and then hand out money to all the winos hanging out on local street corners. They'd probably spend my money more "efficiently" than PJM.
Oh, but wait, that's not all S-R will do for me. It will also provide some illusory and hard to define "reliability." $156M worth? What kind of a rube do you think I am?
Won't someone pull the right lever and stop this out of control gravy train? Please?