Delaware Public Media

PJM board votes to move ahead with Artificial Island project

Apr 6, 2017

The PJM Board voted Thursday to lift a suspension and move ahead with its contentious Artificial Island transmission line project.


   

Delaware lawmakers and public advocates have opposed the $280 million energy project, saying the state will pay the bulk of the costs while only receiving about 10 percent of the benefits.

Gov. John Carney, the state’s General Assembly and Delaware’s Congressional delegation sent letters to PJM last week asking it to join them in arguing for a new cost allocation before federal regulators. 

 

Following Thursday's vote, the board directed PJM to give Delaware leaders information that could help them design a new cost allocation.

 

It's still unclear what that information is and how helpful it will be. 

 

Gov. Carney said in a statement he’s "hopeful that new data and analysis from PJM will help lead to a fair cost allocation – one that doesn’t ask ratepayers on Delmarva to pay higher electric bills, without receiving much in return.” 

 

State Rep. Trey Paradee (D- Dover West) says an opportunity to revisit the allocation would be welcome news.

 

“If that is true I think that gives us a glimmer of hope that things are moving in the right direction,” said Paradee.

It’s still unclear how PJM will help Delaware reshape the project cost - and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will have to sign off any new proposal.

 

The transmission line flows from Artificial Island, New Jersey into Northern Delaware, making the First State the main beneficiary under federal standards.

 

Delaware is hoping to argue in a rehearing that the federal standard shouldn’t apply in this case because the purpose of the line is to boost regional stability, not meet energy demands in the First State.

 

Right now, Delaware is expected to pay 70 percent of the costs while receiving about 10 percent of the benefits.

 

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will have to sign off any new proposal.

 

PJM suspended the project last August following multiple complaints by Delaware and Maryland.

Thursday’s vote lifts that suspension.

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