PJM Interconnection has authorized an additional US$464 million in upgrades to the electric transmission system in the 13-state PJM region. To date, transmission investments approved under the PJM plan total nearly $2 billion. In addition, PJM has changed its planning process to look further into the future.

The transmission additions are part of PJM's current Regional Transmission Expansion Plan. The plan is the end result of a continuing, systematic process to make necessary transmission grid improvements. Transmission improvements keep the system in compliance with reliability standards. These standards ensure that the system continues to deliver electricity throughout the area. The improvements also accommodate interconnection of new generating projects.

"Since last December, PJM has approved $1 billion in transmission upgrades. This demonstrates the benefit of regional planning and the commitment of PJM members to transmission expansion and investment," said Audrey A. Zibelman, PJM executive vice president and chief operating officer.

PJM has expanded the planning period for its Regional Transmission Expansion Planning Process from five years to 15 years into the future.

"We're working closely with our stakeholders to make our planning process even more robust," said Zibelman. "In this case, extending the planning horizon allows better planning both for reliability improvements and for upgrades that make sure the electric grid best supports economic sales of power around the region."

Since its first plan was approved in 2000, PJM has authorized nearly $2 billion of transmission upgrades, $524 million of which already have been completed. The authorizations include $1.3 billion in reliability system upgrades and $533 million in upgrades to interconnect new generation. The generation-related upgrades consist of more than 130 completed projects adding up to 17,021 MW of new generation with an additional 3897 MW of new generation currently under construction. The generation additions enhance reliability, ensure an adequate electricity supply is maintained and support competitive electricity markets.