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Utility Dive: SOO Green transmission project faces PJM obstacles: Are grid operators hindering the energy transition?

Posted by Ethan Howland on Jan 13, 2022

Utility Dive detailed barriers to green transmission project, quoting AEE's Jeff Dennis incorporating advanced energy technologies into wholesale markets. Read snippets below and the full article here

The $2.5 billion SOO Green transmission project ticks many boxes for being an ideal proposal to help advance the energy transition, a key Biden administration priority.

The innovative transmission line would run underground along railroad rights of way, delivering 2,100 MW of wind power from the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) into the PJM Interconnection, the regional transmission organization (RTO) that runs the grid and wholesale electricity markets in 13 Mid-Atlantic and Midwest states, plus the District of Columbia...

The two lines export power out of PJM, unlike the SOO Green project, which aims to mostly deliver electricity into the PJM region...

As it evolves during the energy transition, PJM must respond to its various stakeholders, which include utilities, states, power developers, consumers and environmental groups, and their competing interests...

RTOs, stakeholders and governance structures

In the last quarter century, RTOs and the regional wholesale power markets they operate have been platforms for innovation, according to Jeff Dennis, Advanced Energy Economy managing director and general counsel. However, their market rules often don't recognize emerging technologies. 

"The RTO's role really needs to be in identifying those market rule barriers and then really quickly moving to resolve them," Dennis said. 

Stakeholder processes can be a barrier to changing those rules, according to Dennis. "They are lengthy, they're resource-intensive and oftentimes the folks who are developing and deploying new technology, they're new entrants, so they're not folks who have traditionally participated in these [processes.]"

Also, the RTOs and ISOs must make sure incumbent interests don't use stakeholder processes to block out new market entrants, according to Dennis.

Read the full article here

Topics: Wholesale Markets, AEE In The News, Jeff Dennis