PJM: Transmission Vital to Support Nation's Energy Goals

PJM Interconnection President and CEO Terry Boston testified before the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee that transmission is the enabler of virtually all of the energy goals Congress is considering. Based in Valley Forge, Penn., PJM is a grid operator that coordinates the wholesale electricity market in parts of 13 states and the District of Columbia.

Providing solutions to achieve those goals, Boston said, “will require more transmission infrastructure, whether it involves increasing renewable generation, using more nuclear power, shifting to clean coal technology with carbon sequestration or relying on more plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.”

The purpose of the committee hearing was to oversee the state of the nation’s transmission grid as well as the implementation of the 2005 Energy Policy Act transmission provisions, including the provision for the designation of national interest electric transmission corridors.

In Boston’s prepared testimony, he said that to adopt some of the ambitious renewable energy and climate change goals that are being discussed will require a substantial investment in new transmission and new grid technology. He also said the electricity industry can deliver, as it has done in the past, but only if it can get beyond debate over yesterday’s issues and

instead partner with the states, the federal government, consumers and industry to focus on truly deploying the 21st century grid.

“For a decade following the New York blackout of 1965, this nation and this industry came together and built transmission that made electric reliability in the U.S. the envy of the world from the mid-1970s through the mid-1990s,” Boston said. “To earn that status again, we must take control of our own destiny on energy adequacy and reliability. By working together with the states, we can do it again.”

For the complete version of Boston’s testimony to the Senate, visit www.tinyurl.com/6kwlfs.

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