Friday, January 21, 2011

PATH circles the drain.....

It's more bad news for PATH.

In late December, PJM (the grid manager) released their demand forecast for 2011 through 2026. The forecast showed that efforts to cut back on electricity have been working. PJM now anticipates that the peak demand for this summer will be down by over three thousand megawatts from what it was projecting just last year at this time (for context, one megawatt can power approximately 1,000 homes).

Going out further, PJM projects that the load in the summer of 2014 will be over four thousand megawatts below what it had been projecting. In light of these changes PATH asked all three states to delay the hearings for six months. West Virginia reluctantly said yes, Maryland has not acted yet, but Virginia said "Not so fast."

In early January, the Virginia SCC refused to adopt the delay that PATH requested, and instead ordered PATH to run some new studies (incorporating the lower demand numbers) and pushed back the evidentiary hearing by less than a month.

The Hearing Examiner has also ordered that PJM show him and the Respondents whether less expensive projects, such as the rebuild of the Mt. Storm to Doubs line, or a series of fixes proposed by Dominion last spring, would solve the reliability problem cheaper than PATH's $2.1 billion dollar remedy.

So there's now a new schedule: The public hearings will still take place as planned on February 2nd and 3rd in Winchester and Lovettsville. The new PJM load flow studies must be filed by March 15, 2011. Respondents and SCC staff will file their testimony on April 18, 2011. On April 25, 2011, an additional public hearing will be held at the SCC in Richmond. PATH files its Rebuttal testimony on May 2, 2011. The evidentiary hearing for expert and respondent testimony will begin on May 16, 2011 at 9AM.

Hey Rocky, wanna see me pull a rabbit outta my nether region????

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