Virginia Regulator Denies Request to Delay PATH Procedural Hearings

Virginia’s State Corporation Commission on Monday denied a request by Allegheny Energy and American Electric Power to delay regulatory proceedings for a proposed 765-kilovolt, 275-mile transmission project from Putnam County, W.Va., to Frederick County, Md.

The request filed for the $2.1 billion Potomac Appalachian Transmission Highline (PATH) was made to prepare updated testimony from grid owner PJM Interconnection, which could potentially have an impact on the PATH project’s in-service date.

“However, the [recently released PJM] draft report alone does not change the projected in-service date for PATH or any other transmission expansion project,” the companies said in December. “PJM recently re-affirmed the need for the PATH project by June 1, 2015.”

But in the ruling, Senior Hearing Examiner Alexander F. Skirpan said that though keeping with the original schedule could prove “more burdensome and costly,” the commission considered that federal jurisdiction could be requested if the commission had not ruled on the decision by Sept. 20, one year after the PATH application were filed. That means that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission could take over proceedings if the commission did not issue a timely decision.

Skirpan ruled that the procedural schedule established by the Commission should be adhered to, which means that public hearings are slated to begin in February—not in November as PATH’s backers had asked.

Sources: Virginia State Corporation Commission, PATH

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