To counter generator-announced plans to retire nearly 14,000 MW of generation between May 2012 and the end of 2015 and boost reliability, the PJM Interconnection Board last week approved nearly $2 billion in transmission upgrades.
The grid operator that serves 13 Midwestern and Mid-Atlantic states and the District of Columbia will embark on 130 transmission upgrades related to the generation retirements, it said. These projects range from simple equipment replacements to new substations to rebuilding existing transmission lines and building new lines. “The upgrades will allow electricity to flow safely from other sources to replace the retiring generation,” PJM said.
More than half of the improvements are in Ohio, particularly around Cleveland, stemming from a flurry of proposed retirement announcements of generators along Lake Erie.
“Even with the retirement of older coal-fired generators, we will have enough existing and new resources in the region to keep the lights on,” said Terry Boston, PJM president and chief executive officer. “The transmission upgrades the board has approved ensure we will continue to deliver power to wherever people need it.