The MAPP line, PEPCO’s Mid-Atlantic Power Pathway transmission line project through Maryland and Delaware, is in the news again. But why???  Where the line is not needed, and it’s withdrawn by PJM and PEPCO, why is this being accepted?  Why is this regarded as a “win?”

Remember that they pulled the project?

PEPCO letter 1.8.09 to suspend MAPP, includes 1.8.09 letter from PJM’s Herling

And before that, the part from Indian River to Salem was eliminated?

MAPP – PEPCO-PJM Press Release May 19, 2009

The May, 2009, Press Release says:

According to Gausman, PJM has also reviewed the need for the section of the line that would run from Delmarva Power’s Indian River substation near Millsboro, Del., to Salem, N.J., and has decided to move this portion of the line into its “continuing study” category. This means that the reconfigured MAPP line will now extend approximately 150 miles from northern Virginia, across southern Maryland and the Chesapeake Bay, and terminate at Indian River. The change would likely reduce the total project cost from $1.4 billion to $1.2 billion.

And then there’s the report that shows there’s no need, that demand is downdowndown, that “congestion” is downdowndown, that price of electricity is downdowndown, that demonstrates that the market concept that they’re all drooling over will have them aspirating their aspirations:

Marketing Analytics – PJM State of the Market Report 2009

So then why did they send out a press release last week:

PEPCO May 5, 2010 Press Release – MAPP Transmission Line

…which every Peninsula news outlet gave pretty much verbatim coverage?

And then there’s the PJM RTEP 2009, released February 26, 2010.

So here’s how their press release looks after the papers get it:

Delaware utilities: Plan takes power line under Choptank

Proposed route would lead to little disruption in Del.

By AARON NATHANS • The News Journal • May 8, 2010

Delmarva Power’s planned high-voltage power line would be submerged below the Choptank River through Dorchester County, Md., the utility announced this week.

The Mid-Atlantic Power Pathway would run from Virginia to Maryland, across the Chesapeake Bay and end at the Indian River Power Plant in Millsboro.

It is being planned by Pepco Holdings Inc., parent company of Delmarva.

The company reports it has been successful in acquiring 90 percent or more of the rights of way needed to build the line through Dorchester County.

This portion of the line would run below the Choptank River, making landfall east of Cambridge, Md. It would continue underground briefly before moving above ground northeast of U.S. 50. It would cross the Nanticoke River near Vienna, Md.

In Delaware, the power line would be built on existing rights of way, approaching from Mardela Springs, Md., moving toward Delmar, and finishing in Millsboro.

Delmarva would not need to widen existing rights of way or clear any vegetation in Delaware, spokesman Matt Likovich said. The existing poles along this route would be replaced to support the more powerful lines, he said.

The portion of the line that runs through Maryland requires approval from federal and state agencies, including the Maryland Public Service Commission. Delaware’s PSC has no such oversight authority.

“We’ve spent a great deal of time listening to the citizens of Dorchester County,” said Bob Jubic, project manager. “With input from landowners, residents, environmental groups and government officials, we believe that the Choptank Route is the best choice as it minimizes the impact on the environment, agriculture and culturally significant areas in the county.”

Pepco Holdings has already announced the route for the MAPP project on the other side of Chesapeake Bay. About 20 of the 72 miles there would need to have new structures installed, and would also need new structures to cross the Potomac and Patuxent rivers.

PSC approval is unlikely to come until PJM Interconnection, the regional power grid manager, decides next month whether new power lines will be needed to ensure electric reliability in the region. Delmarva officials say they are not waiting for that green light to plan for the line, which they hope to have in service in June 2014.

Delaware PSC Chairwoman Arnetta McRae wrote a letter to PJM last month expressing the commission’s opinion that the project should go ahead on schedule to relieve reliability and cost concerns, and to provide a future pathway for offshore wind power to flow through the area.

Maps of the route through Dorchester County will be on public display at the Holiday Inn Express in Cambridge, Md., on Wednesday from 4 to 8 p.m. during an information session with the company. For more information, call the MAPP office at (410) 221-6207 or visit

Now read the other “articles” and tell me if there’s an echo in the room:

Underwater power line route suggested
Proposal under Chesapeake avoids refuge

By Calum McKinney • Staff Writer • May 6, 2010

But the day before it was better, with some original quotes:

Delmarva Power proposes Choptank route for MAPP project

(with NO byline)


Before we get started, a note about need.  As usual, this transmission line is not needed.  PEPCO’s Mid-Atlantic Power Pathway, or MAPP line, not to be confused with Mid-Continent Area Power Pool (MAPP), is the red line on the map above.  PJM, the private utility transmission promotion entity, has admitted that the Indian River to Salem part of the line is not justified, and have taken it off their wish list.  Now, about the rest of it…

And where did MAPP come from?  It’s part of Project Mountaineer, which is planned to bring cheap coal generation from the Amos plant and others, like the coal plant planned by Delaware Electric Co-op.  Without this transmission line, the coal generation would not be used in the Mid-Atlantic or parts further NE, i.e., New York.

The MAPP transmission line had a day of scrutiny last week when MAPP opposition groups hosted a tour and luncheon featuring former Maryland Gov. Harry Hughes speaking against the line.  State Senators and staff from both Maryland U.S. Senators were present, and it looks like they got an earful and eyeful!  They used balloons to show the height of the lines, as we did in Susquehanna-Roseland last month, and Chisago years ago.

Here’s the full story:

Tour focuses on MAPP problems

By DUSTIN HOLT Special from The Star Democrat

Published: Friday, September 25, 2009 9:56 AM CDT

The Eastern Shore Land Conservancy and the Dorchester Citizens for Safe Energy along with the Dorchester County Tourism Department organized a tour through Dorchester County last week to show the impact the proposed Mid-Atlantic Power Pathway project would have on the county’s heritage, agriculture and wildlife.

Pepco Holdings is proposing a 27-mile high-voltage electrici transmission line crossing Dorchester County as part of the MAPP project, from Taylor’s Island to Vienna.

The ESLC suggests the towers would be 150 feet tall, though Pepco puts them between 110 and 130 feet. According to the ESLC, the towers would consume 650 acres of county agriculture, forest and rural lands.

The Sept. 16 tour included lunch at the E.A. Murphy Community Center in Vienna, with former Maryland Gov. Harry Hughes as a guest speaker.

“Many of us are opposed to it (the MAPP Project) because insufficient studies have been done for this line,” said Hughes, an advisory committee member of the ESLC. “Have they looked at alternatives?”

Hughes said one alternative is to improve the Vienna Power Plant, which is not operating at full power. He said another alternative is to introduce energy conservation standards to reduce the need for the power lines.

“This is a massive project that will disrupt the landscape,” Hughes said.. “There are too many unknowns with no alternatives considered. As far as I can see, there is no need to rush into this.”

Vienna Mayor Russell Brinsfield, one of the founders of ESLC, said MAPP would permanently and negatively impact Vienna. He said alternatives should include the state promoting energy conversation and renewable resources.

State Sen. Richard Colburn, R-37-Mid-Shore; Del. Addie Eckardt, R-37B-Dorchester; and Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio, R-37B-Talbot, were in attendance at the lunch in Vienna.

Eckardt said it is important to preserve the heritage and agriculture in the county, “Our biggest asset is our land, fisheries and agriculture.”

If MAPP project must move forward, Eckardt said, the state needs to look where the project will not be environmentally sensitive nor impair the landscape of the county.

The tour headed from Vienna, through Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge and back to Cambridge.

Dorchester Citizens for Safe Energy Chairman Libby Nagel said the power line would require about a 200-foot right-of-way.

To demonstrate the height of the towers, balloons were deployed to a height of about 150 feet.

Local farmer Lin Spicer said spraying crops would be ineffective with the power lines because planes would not be able to get below the lines. “We would be forced to spray from above the towers and the wind would blow the spray all around before it reached the crops,” he said.

Blackwater Manager Susan Baird said the MAPP towers would have a great impact on wildlife and wetlands. She said bald eagles need a living area of at least five miles. “They won’t fly over the towers, so you can’t tell me they or other birds will not move on to different locations outside of Dorchester County if the power lines are put here,” Baird said.

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