If we get onshore wind power from Indiana and Pennsylvania, here is the mess it will have to come thorough…..

Congestion Within the PJM Grid

Congestion Study by Department of Energy 2006 contains these far sighted words.

The eastern PJM is facing continuing load growth in combination with power plant retirements and limited new generation investment near loads. Transmission constraints are causing significant congestion in both western and eastern PJM, because there is more low-cost Midwest coal-based and nuclear power available for delivery eastward than the grid capacity can accommodate. Inside the region, load pockets around Washington DC, central Maryland, the Delmarva Peninsula and New Jersey all need major investments in new transmission, generation and demand management to improve reliability and reduce consumer costs. PJM is also the southern pathway for power flows to the New York metropolitan area, and New York wholesale buyers would like to buy more power through PJM than PJM can deliver, given the limitations of the existing transmission grid.

US Dept. of Energy 2006 Areas of Critical Congestion

From this map one sees that if a Bluewater Wind facility is built offshore, it insulates a large portion of Sussex County from those high rates being paid by those in the “orange” marked areas….

These are areas where significant congestion would result if large amounts of new generation resources were to be developed without simultaneous development of associated transmission capacity. These areas are shown in Figure 5-5, and they are known to be of considerable interest for possible development of wind, nuclear, or coal-fired generation to serve distant load centers.

PJM estimates that congestion costs caused by transmission constraints in the Allegheny Mountain area alone have totaled more than $1.3 billion
over the past three years.
{PJM Interconnection, L.L.C., “Comments of
PJM in Response to the MD PSC Notice of Inquiry”—Case Number 9047.}

Further, PJM says that “more than 9400 MW of new generation, of which approximately 6700 MW are coal-fired units located in western Pennsylvania, western Maryland, eastern Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia, are pending in PJM’s interconnection queue, with commercial operation dates of 2006-2012.” {Project Mountaineer, Work Group Meeting, Sheraton Four Points Hotel, Baltimore, MD, August 3, 2005.}

Addition of this generation capacity, though needed, will create additional congestion unless new transmission is also developed. The Delmarva Peninsula has long been a load pocket with significantly higher power prices and lower reliability than the adjoining areas. {SERC Reliability Review Subcommittee’s 2005 Report to the SERC Engineering Committee (June 2005).}

Although the Delmarva area is not densely populated, it is now experiencing rapid population and load growth. Recent small-scale transmission upgrades have been helpful but will not be sufficient to meet the peninsula’s future needs. Recently Pepco Holdings, Inc. proposed a new transmission line that would bring new capacity and energy to the peninsula from the south by crossing the Chesapeake Bay.

If this concentrated generation capacity were to be developed without associated transmission facilities, its output could not be delivered to loads because the existing grid would not be able to accommodate the flows

According to this article appearing in the Economist it costs $ 500,000 per mile in remote Kansas to build a transmission line. In Boston, it can go as high as 20 million per mile to install underground lines. Who pays? Ultimately the users who for unknown reasons, naturally resent the extra charges.

Pepco initially underbid the MAPP lines at 1.2 billion. (Fortunately for them, they tacked on this disclaimer: uncertainties and factors could cause actual results to differ materially from such statements. PHI disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.)

So who pays the 1.2 billion? Ultimately the users.

Hey wait you might wonder? How is that different from paying 1.2 billion for the building of a wind farm?

The answer is obvious. The Pepco charge for the new MAPP transmission lines will be tacked ON TOP of the ever increasing fuel cost charges required to create the power which those line will carry.

With Bluewater Wind, the only thing you pay is just the 1.2 billion. The wind is free. This alone guarantees Bluewater energy will cost far cheaper than anything brought in from somewhere else.

Representative Hocker contends that new transmission lines will decrease the cost of power below that provided by Bluewater Wind. Tommywonk disagreed.

There is just one problem with his analysis. His calculations did not take into account the 1.2 billion cost of building the lines. Their construction would slap steep transmission costs onto whatever we were already paying, and that cost would then be levied upon all customers, both Delmarva and Co-op.

But on the opposite extreme, Bluewater Wind will supplement Delaware’s own production of power with local generation, so there will be no transmission costs to add on . So that even if the MAPP super highway is built, its costs will be paid by those in Philadelphia and New York who actually use the energy they transport, and not those living on the Delmarva Peninsula, who will receive their 300MWh locally from Bluewater Wind.

Bottom line, Representative Hocker by his actions is dooming Southwestern Delawareans to exorbitantly high cost increases in their future price of electricity. If his plan goes through, these high costs would then continue ad infinitum and never be lifted.

The MAPP may be needed to counteract congestion and thereby improve the economic health of our nation, and should be built for that reason. But Delaware has more important needs to contend with: such as the cost its citizens will pay for electricity. To fix that need, Delaware needs to commence starting forward with Bluewater Wind ASAP, otherwise we as the second smallest state, will lose what little economic health we have left…..

It appears that Hocker indeed made a small miscalculation.