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The PJM Interconnection board has approved $1.6 billion in electric transmission systems additions and upgrades for the grid that serves 51 million people in 13 states and the District of Columbia. The upgrades are required to maintain reliability of the power supply system in years ahead. Among the upgrades and improvements is a 500 kV transmission line to be built in northern New Jersey to strengthen the regional grid.

The transmission project in New Jersey involves building a 500 kV line from Branchburg substation in Somerset County to Roseland substation in Essex County, and then continuing from Roseland to Hudson substation in Hudson County. The project is being built by Public Service Electric and Gas Co. to address reliability violations in the region expected to develop by 2013.

The approved regional transmission plan also calls for a change in the previously approved Mid-Atlantic Power Pathway (MAPP) project. The PJM board approved using a high-voltage direct current line (HVDC) for the portion of the project that stretches under the Chesapeake Bay at Calvert Cliffs in Maryland to Vienna and Indian River substations on the Delmarva Peninsula.

The change to HVDC improves different aspects of the transmission, mainly providing greater operational flexibility. The project originates from Possum Point, Va. The MAPP project had been authorized in October 2007, and the Possum Point to Indian River portion has a required in-service date of June 2013.

PJM continues to evaluate the in-service date of the remaining portion of the MAPP project that would connect Indian River to Salem substation in New Jersey.

SOURCE: PJM Interconnection

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