And here's another amazing fact:
Their promise and rapid pace of development happen to coincide with the Akron-based electricity company’s recent focus on making its transmission segment the lead revenue growth generator for FirstEnergy, where Mr. Bridenbaugh serves as vice president of transmission.
So, who pays to supply electricity to new shale gas companies? You do.
Most of the time, when the company upgrades a transmission line or builds a substation to service a new gas processing plant, the investment is recovered from the utilities that benefit from the upgrade.
How much will you pay?
...the company has said it wants to retrench in its utility and transmission businesses, both of which provide a guaranteed rate of return. For transmission projects, the return is often in the double digits.
Why are you paying? Because the new shale gas companies make the existing grid unreliable, and you need reliability! (which came first? the chicken or the egg?)
Because the new, shale-related loads are springing up in rural areas with older or nonexistent infrastructure, the new pull on the lines often presents a reliability risk for other customers drawing electricity in the area. Therefore, many such projects end up going before PJM Interconnection, a Valley Forge-based organization that manages the nation’s largest grid, servicing 13 states in the northeast including Pennsylvania.
PJM has a formula to determine who’s responsible for the cost of upgrades.
Typically, for projects like those on FirstEnergy’s shale plate, it’s shared between the direct beneficiary — a compressor station or processing plant — and the regional utilities whose customers also see a benefit from improved service and reliability.