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Raritan Valley Group > Issues > Susquehanna - Roseland power line
We had left this issue up to the Sierra Club groups in the North where the main line is to be installed, but now that it looks like a branch will come down to the Branchburg switching station we decided to stick our foot in the water.
Status Feb. 2011
Phase II of the project was to upgrade the existing 230 KV line from Roseland to Branchberg to 500 KV. In Oct. 2019 PJM's board of directors eliminated the $1 billion upgrade in favor of simply reconductoring the current towers (new, more efficient overhead lines).
Michael J. Kormas, senior vice president of operations, said in the release. "Our annual re-evaluation showed that, for this particular project, changes in demand growth and demand response reduced the number of expected overloads and that alternative upgrades could resolve the remaining problems." See Stories at:
Platts a global provider of energy information).
Echoes-Sentinel article "Power marketer scratches huge Long Hill power lines".
The underground cables referenced were to connect substations in Essex/Hudson counties.
The Branchburg substation capacitor farm addition. Still on but moved to a less objectionable part of their property. In PJM's executive summary http://www.pjm.com/documents/reports/~/media/documents/reports/2009-rtep/2009-section1.ashx they say< "Load growth remains a fundamental driver of transmission expansion plans.
On June 6, 2008, PSE&G announced a "Reliability Project" that would upgrade a transmission line between the Susquehanna nuclear plant and switching station in Pennsylvania and PSE&am;G's switching station in Roseland, New Jersey. PSE&G plans to string a 500kV line next to the current line that carries 230kV. They will triple the transmission capacity to account for an estimated 1% growth in energy demand per year in the next four years.
They will have to construct 75 new towers (both lattice structures and mono poles [Note monopoles may not work because of lower load capacity]) ranging from 180-195 feet in height, almost double the height of the current towers. Among three possible routes for the project, the developers
have chosen the so-called route B. The New Jersey portion will pass through Hardwick Twp, Stillwater Twp, Fredon Twp, Newton, Andover Twp, Byram Twp, Sparta Twp, Jefferson Twp, Rockaway Twp, Kinnelon Boro, Boonton Twp, Montville Twp, Parsippany-Troy Hills Twp, East Hanover Twp, and end in Roseland Boro.
In addition the existing line from the Roseland switching station to the Branchburg switching station in Somerset County will be upgraded and the substation in Branchburg will be expanded.
Fall 2009 - The state Highlands Council approved it, after PSE&G offered a $18.6 million mitigation fee.
On February 11, 2010 the NJ Board of Public Utilities (BPU) Approved the plan
In a March 28, 2010 Star Ledger article a PSE&G spokesperson said:
"Since the existing line was put into service in the early 1930s, electricity usage in New Jersey has increased by more than 2,000 percent," said PSE&G spokeswoman Karen Johnson. "The project is needed for reliability." Three separate analyses, she said, have determined that 23 transmission circuits in North Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania will be overloaded "as early as 2012, resulting in possible brownouts and blackouts."PSE&G Overview
PSE&G's "Discussion Materials For The Dec. 9, 2009 New York Investor Meetings" (Form 8-K) includes:
See Terms and acronyms below.
See statewide transmission map.
In April 2008 the FERC- Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved their request to increase their ROE (Return on Equity) from 11.7% to 12.9% because of risks and challenges faced by the Susquehanna Line. They contend that the Susquehanna
Line will cost nearly $1 billion, which will lead to a reduction in cash flow and, therefore, increase the cost of capital.
Current estimates are that conservation in the home could reduce energy usage 23% by 2020.
For example an energy conservation program at Warren Township, Somerset Co. schools in 2009-2010 saved from 14 to 20% in energy usage per school.
In their presentation to the EEI International Utility Conference in March 2010, PSE&G said their Historical Annual Load Growth (2005-2009) was 0.6%.
They have concentrated on the capacity issue, but in previous hearings on other issues they have brought up the disaster recovery issue, saying their main feed is currently a 500 kV line coming from the Salem nuclear plant and Delaware in the south. They have said they need a backup from the north in case that line goes out.
There are standard techniques for doing risk analysis and cost/benefit analysis for these scenarios; I haven't seen any evidence that they have been applied here. They certainly have a disaster plan for an outage in the feed from the south now, if not all the BPU commissioners should be fired. That could be used to compute the cost without the new line.
Some think the motivation is to allow PSE&G to sell the clean power it produces in New Jersey to New York City at a rate 50% higher than it could charge in New Jersey and replace it with cheap coal plant energy from PA.
The acid rain created from coal plant emissions would blow over New Jersey and produce even more environmental damage. The Susquehanna-Roseland power line will start at the Susquehanna nuclear plant in Berwick. But because of its close proximity to the coal-fired Washingtonville Plant, it is likely that this line would also carry coal-generated electricity. In addition to plans to expand its nuclear energy production at Susquehanna by building a 3rd reactor, Pennsylvania Power & Light (PPL) is proposing additional coal-fired generation at the Washingtonville site The increased reliance on coal energy undermines our efforts to address Global warming, and will increase the air pollution coal plants spew in Pennsylvania and that drift to New Jersey.
Underground transmission lines are more expensive to design, install and maintain. According to "Evaluation of Underground Electric Transmission Lines in Virginia" a Except when there are very expensive right-of-way costs associated with an overhead line, an underground line is likely to be about four to ten times more expensive than an overhead line because of things like trenching costs, insulation and heat dissipation costs. However, transmission costs are generally only about four to ten percent of electric system costs, so the total effect on the bottom line is not that great.
Notes - Terms:
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