Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Potomac Edison To Refile Electric Power Line Plans

Potomac Edison plans to restart its proposal to build the Potomac-Appalachian Transmission Highline (PATH) in Frederick County and will file a new application with the Maryland Public Service Commission to build. On Sept. 9, the Maryland Public Service Commission rejected Potomac Edison's application for PATH because it would not be built by an electric company operating within Maryland, as state law requires. The commission did not comment on the need for the upgrade.

It is the last part of a multi-state power line. The 275-mile power line would begin at a substation in southern West Virginia and end at a proposed 50-acre substation near Mount Airy, Maryland called the Kemptown Substation. PATH will serve PJM Interconnection, a regional organization that coordinates power transmission in 13 states, including those through which it passes, and Washington, D.C.

Allegheny Energy, of which Potomac Edison is a subsidiary, and American Electric Power have partnered to build PATH, with Allegheny having sole responsibility for the portion to be constructed in Maryland. Both companies argue that without the new power lines, the region's power grid will not be able to reliably meet electrical demands. The companies say PATH must be constructed by 2014 to keep up with projected demand.

Virginia's State Corporation Commission and West Virginia's Public Service Commission are also considering denial of the project. (Maryland Gazette, 11/10/2009)

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