The PJM Interconnection and the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) recently filed a first-of-its-kind joint agreement with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Jan. 27 outlining how New Jersey will put PJM’s competitive planning process to work in pursuit of its offshore wind goals.
The agreement details the contractual commitments and responsibilities of the NJBPU and PJM regarding the competitive selection of transmission solutions to enable New Jersey’s goal of delivering 7,500 megawatts (MW) of offshore wind generation to its residents by 2035.
The filing advances the process from a study agreement FERC approved last year. PJM is asking FERC to issue an order no later than April 15.
PJM is in the process of evaluating 80 proposals submitted in a competitive solicitation window for wind that ran from April 15 to Sept. 17, 2021.
PJM anticipates recommending to New Jersey by May the most cost-effective and efficient transmission solutions. The NJBPU expects to decide whether to sponsor selected transmission projects by September. Each proposal offers solutions to deliver offshore wind generation to the existing bulk electric grid.
Typically, PJM’s Regional Transmission Expansion Plan (RTEP) includes projects driven by reliability or market-efficiency criteria. The state agreement approach provides an avenue to incorporate public policy goals into the process, PJM said.
New Jersey is the first state to make use of the state agreement approach, which enables a state, or group of states, to propose a project to assist in realizing public policy requirements as long as the state (or states) agrees to pay all costs of any state-selected buildout included in the RTEP. Those costs would be recovered from customers in those states.