American Electric Power and Allegheny Energy, Inc. have announced a new application has been filed for authority to build the Virginia segment of the Potomac-Appalachian Transmission Highline (PATH).
The filing with the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) incorporates the latest information and analyses by regional transmission authority PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. PJM is recommending the construction of PATH by mid-2015 to address a number of serious violations of the North American Electric Reliability Corp.’s reliability standards that are projected to occur within PJM’s 15-year planning horizon, if PATH is not built.
PJM has indicated that, based on its consideration of alternatives evaluated to date, the PATH project continues to be the optimal resolution to these violations. PJM has directed Allegheny and AEP to continue with the project to resolve these reliability violations. If PATH is not built, line overloads and voltage-related issues could trigger blackouts and brownouts in the region by mid-2015. The PATH companies have incorporated the same information into their existing applications in Maryland and West Virginia.
The latest PJM analyses are consistent with previous studies recommending the construction of PATH. PJM evaluated PATH against several alternatives and found it to be the most comprehensive solution.
In May 2009, Allegheny Energy affiliate PATH Allegheny Virginia Transmission Corporation filed its original Virginia application to build the 31-mile segment in Frederick, Clarke and Loudoun counties, but was authorized by the SCC in January 2010 to withdraw its request to allow time for PJM’s comprehensive review of system needs as part of its 2010 Regional Transmission Expansion Plan process.
Affiliates of AEP and Allegheny are seeking authorization to construct a 275-mile, 765-kilovolt transmission project extending from the Amos substation in Putnam County, W.Va., to a proposed substation in Frederick County, Md.