In an order entered May 24, 2021, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission denied applications by Transource Pennsylvania LLC for the siting and construction of two 230kV transmission lines in York and Franklin Counties, and related substation improvements. Transource sought the Commission’s approval in connection with those portions of its proposed market efficiency plan approved by PJM located in the Commonwealth. The proposed plan purportedly would relieve transmission congestion within specified areas of the regional transmission grid. Transource originally filed its applications in December 2017, were subject to extensive evidentiary hearings before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ).
The Commission affirmed the ALJ’s Recommended Decision denying the applications because Transource failed to show by a preponderance of the evidence the need for the project. The Commission rejected Transource’s argument, made in its filed exceptions, that PJM approval of Transource’s plan pursuant to FERC authority established the need for the project, which effectively preempted the Commission from an independent evaluation. The Commission found that the ALJ properly considered PJM approval as a factor in the evaluation, but correctly determined that it was not dispositive in determining the project’s need within the Commonwealth pursuant to the Public Utility Code, Commission regulations and related caselaw.
The Commission’s order may be found at: https://www.puc.pa.gov/pcdocs/1704597.docx.