Utilities associated with PJM Interconnection will soon see updates to end-of-life (EOL) procedures for assets, with the organization considering multiple proposed plans.
PJM Interconnection is a regional transmission organization (RTO) that coordinates the movement of wholesale electricity in all or parts of 13 states — Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia — and the District of Columbia.
The latest updates will touch on both EOL and regional planning needs to help utilities more effectively and efficiently forecast costs associated with asset replacement. New regulations will help utilities determine when to replace transmission assets and how to meet infrastructure needs for an estimated 50 to 100 years. Additionally, the new regulations will help set standards and avoid any irregularities with EOL process for those utilities associated with PJM Interconnection.
Conducting studies is a preliminary way to identify aspects of the transmission system at risk of facility failure and to prioritize significant assets by their effect on the rest of the system. Planning an EOL study can involve bringing in a team to physically examine system aspects and develop a plan to assess parts of the system needing improvements.
Studies may also include project cost estimating, which helps utilities plan and prioritize projects accordingly and forecast potential costs accurately. PJM Interconnection recommends utilities evaluate the condition of one transmission asset at a time while keeping the longevity of a system in mind. By conducting the appropriate studies and upgrading assets in a prioritized process, a utility can avoid a large system overhaul with many transmission facilities needing attention all at the same time.
The PJM Interconnection regulations will also aim to increase communication between relevant stakeholders and transmission operators. With more transparency and standardization across the EOL determination process, utilities will have set standards to follow to determine if minimum requirements are being met.
By addressing planning horizon requirements and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) regulations, PJM Interconnection transmission operators will gain additional clarity throughout the EOL process. While the requirements mean new standards for affected utilities to adhere to, the regulations will soon improve consistency in EOL processes across PJM Interconnection utilities. Upcoming EOL standards will also help utilities understand the regulations they need to maintain industry standards.
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