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  Where the line is not needed, and it’s withdrawn by PJM and PEPCO, why is this being accepted?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)

271,000 in the dark and growing

Snowball fights planned

dsc00332        dsc00331

Kady is from Georgia originally, though she spent almost a year on Long Island.  She does NOT like snow.  Today, Alan opened the door, and unlike Krie, she always calmly stands in the doorway and surveys her world, then CALMLY and SLOWLY walks down the stairs (what a dog!!).  Today, as she surveyed the world, she looked up with a big “WTF” look!

She went down the shoveled path and with some encouragement went into the snow, over her belly.  Some of the yard is almost bare, but some has pretty deep drifts, like 4′, and in the back corner up against the back door, all the windows have a curtain of snow, and the drift is 5-6 feet high.  Official tallies are 21″ in Newark (DE),  20″ in Wilmington, 18″ in Bear, New Castle Airport 18″, Dover 15″ — snowfall totals predicted is now up to 24.5″ for NEW CASTLE COUNTY< @&” for Kent Count and 27″ for Sussex… though it doesn’t seem like much deeper than a foot overall here.  It was very warm when it started so probably much of it melted.  The numbers for accumulated snow are much lower in the south end of the peninsula, and it was over 30 when this all started.


This will shut down Delaware for a month!  Time to underground those distribution lines, eh?  Here, I’ve

Snow piles up; trees down, power out

Power’s out just about everywhere:

CLICK HERE for Delaware Electric Cooperative map

CLICK HERE for Delmarva Power outage map

TIME TO UNDERGROUND THE DISTRIBUTION LINES!  Click on the Delmarva Power or DEC link, go to map and put cursor n location to see number of customers out of service.  What I don’t get is the areas where there are so many more customers out of service than they have customers.

The view out the office window about 9 a.m.:


And now look at it… a couple hours later ~ 1 p.m.m it’s coming down, heavy thick blobs of snow, and it’s coming down FAST, none of this “winter wonderland” routine, it’s intense:


State of Delaware
Executive Department


WHEREAS, a severe winter storm with significant snowfall accumulations expected in all three counties of the State of Delaware, and blizzard conditions expected in Kent and Sussex counties has begun; and

WHEREAS, the predicted weather will likely create dangerous and life-threatening conditions and result in additional public safety responses from treacherous road conditions in all or parts of each county; and

WHEREAS, the weather conditions have the potential to cause additional safety issues to our citizens as well as damage and destruction to property; and

NOW THEREFORE, I, JACK A. MARKELL, pursuant to Title 20, Chapter 31 of the Delaware Code, do hereby declare a State of Emergency for the entire State of Delaware. This State of Emergency is effective at February 5, 2010 at 8 p.m. E.S.T. and continuing until terminated as provided under state law. The nature of the emergency is heavy snowfall, potentially high winds, whiteout conditions and minor to moderate coastal flooding. Along with such other actions authorized by Title 20, Chapter 31 of the Delaware Code, I specifically direct and authorize:

1.All departments and agencies of the State of Delaware shall assist in response and recovery activities, as directed by and in coordination with the Delaware Emergency Management Agency, in consultation with the Secretary of Safety and Homeland Security, necessary in those areas affected by the storm.

2. As of 10 p.m. February 5, 2010 and until further notice, no motor vehicles are to be operated on any road in the state of Delaware, unless such vehicles are being operated by authorized personnel responding to the State of Emergency or other emergency situations. Essential personnel who are traveling to assigned work locations for critical facilities operating on a 24/7 basis are exempt from this order and must carry credentials identifying them as employees of such facility. Private sector businesses are strongly urged to consider the safety of their employees and the restriction of travel during the storm when deciding whether to remain operating.

3. In order to enforce paragraph 2 of this Order, state and local officials are directed to remove abandoned vehicles from roads in the State of Delaware at the expense of the vehicle owner.

4. The Delaware National Guard shall take precautionary or responsive actions directed by the Director of the Delaware Emergency Management Agency, in consultation with the Secretary of Safety and Homeland Security, upon request by local authorities.

5. Government entities subject to bidding requirements are exempted from those bidding requirements for the purpose of purchasing materials necessary for responding to this snow and wind emergency.

6. I authorize the Delaware Department of Transportation and the Delaware State Police, in consultation with the Delaware Emergency Management Agency and the Secretary of Safety and Homeland Security, to order such bridge and road closures as necessary to protect the health and safety of the public.

7. The Delaware Emergency Management Agency shall activate the State Emergency Operations Plan and cooperate with federal entities in making applications, if necessary, for relief and assistance for those towns and communities adversely affected by snow, winds and coastal flooding, pursuant to the State Emergency Operations Plan of the State of Delaware and any potentially applicable federal disaster or emergency relief laws, including, but not limited to, the Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act. The director of DEMA, or his designee, shall be the Governor’s Authorized Representative with respect to interaction with FEMA.

8. I reserve the right to take or direct state or local authorities to take, without issuance of further written order, any other necessary actions authorized by Title 20, Chapter 31 of the Delaware Code to respond to this emergency.

APPROVED this 5th day of February, 2010, at 4:45 p.m.
Jack A. Markell

Sussex County has held off on taking a formal stand on Delmarva Power’s Mid-Atlantic Power Pathway, or MAPP, but Delmarva is pushing,  so now’s the time to call them with a simple message:

No, don’t encourage and facilitate coal!

Say NO! to Delmarva Power’s Mid-Atlantic Power Path transmission proposal!

Delmarva Power is going around drumming up support for its Mid-Atlantic Power Pathway, or MAPP.  They approached Sussex County to support the line (what do we know about that?  Not much.  Perhaps a FOIA to see what they’ve been doing is in order?) and because there’s a zoning matter before the County, they held off..

Delaware Electric Coop would like to use the MAPP line to bring in electricity from a new Old Dominion coal plant in Virginia.  Oh… great idea… I’ve posted about this before:

Delaware Electric Coop annual meeting

Here’s Alan’s Green Delaware Alert and handout for DEC’s last annual meeting:

Green Delaware – Alert 666

Synapse Report – Fact Sheet – Hampton Road/Cypress Creek

Building a coal plant is a really bad idea, and building transmission for coal is a really bad idea plus… two wrongs do not make a right.

Call all the County Council, thank them for putting on the brakes, and let them know what you think about Delmarva Power’s transmission for coal:

Michael H. Vincent   (302) 629-2396

Samuel R. Wilson   (302) 856-2972

Joan R. Deaver   (302) 645-6657

George B. Cole   (302) 539-1611

Vance C. Phillips   (302) 542-1501

Here’s a report from the Cape Gazette:

Sussex County council delays support of transmission line

Pathway could pump $260 million in county’s economy

By Ron MacArthur

More than a dozen elected bodies and agencies are throwing support behind the Mid-Atlantic Power Pathway, but Sussex County Council will not join that list – at least not right away.

The 150- to 170-mile high-voltage transmission project, scheduled to be completed in June 2014 at a cost of $1.2 billion, would include 35 miles of lines from Vienna, on Route 50 in Maryland, to the Indian River power plant near Millsboro.

Delmarva Power and Pepco Holdings Inc. were seeking council’s support of the Mid-Atlantic Power Pathway (MAPP) project during the county’s Tuesday, Oct. 27 meeting. But council is handcuffed because a zoning application is pending before county officials. A converter station will need to be built near Millsboro.

“Would we be pre-judging this zoning application with support of this?” Council President Vance Phillips asked county attorney Everett Moore.

Moore responded with an emphatic yes.

Phillips told Delmarva Power representatives the council would discuss the matter with its attorney. “We will see if we can come up with some sort of endorsement broad enough not to get ourselves in trouble,” he said.

“This is one of the most important projects ever undertaken by Delmarva Power and Pepco,” said Jim Smith, Delmarva Power senior public affairs manager.

Demand exceeds generation

Jerry Elliott, a Delmarva Power retiree with 35 years’ experience, has come out of retirement to help with the project. In a presentation to council, he said the Delmarva Peninsula depends on imported power, with demand exceeding generation by 500 megawatts during peak periods. Officials say demand will increase by 20 percent during peak periods over the next 10 years.

Power is transmitted from north to south from a single connection point in New Castle County. As a result, he said, more brownouts and blackouts are projected in the future for residents in southern Delaware.

“Even with the economic downturn, without MAPP there is insufficient transmission and power generation capacity to meet demand by 2014,” Elliott said. “The peninsula is isolated from power sources on the western shore and cannot import enough power in the event of an emergency.” He said the single point of access to the grid also results in higher costs for electricity on the peninsula when lower-cost power is available in the region. “MAPP will lower the cost of power by relieving transmission-line congestion,” he said.

Because no new transmission lines have been built on the peninsula in the past 25 years and the area is susceptible to brownouts and blackouts, the area has been designated a Department of Energy National Interest Electric Transmission Corridor.

Matt Likovich, Delmarva Power community and communications coordinator, said the 51 million customers in the project area will be charged 30 cents a month, a charge that will be offset by a savings in congestion charges.

“The cost of electricity during periods of congestion is much higher than at other times. The MAPP project will help relieve transmission-line congestion on the Delmarva Peninsula, resulting in cost savings to customers,” Likovich said.

He said anticipated savings are about 60 cents per month in charges related to congestion.

Line will go under the bay

Elliott said 500-kilovolt and 640-kilovolt lines will tie into power plants starting in southern Maryland at Possum Point to Calvert Cliffs with 11 miles taken under the Chesapeake Bay through Dorchester County to a plant in Vienna and then to the Indian River plant.

Almost all of the project will take place on existing rights of way, except in Dorchester County. “Dorchester County does not support this yet,” Elliott said. That is why the exact mileage of the project is not yet known. The final figure depends on what officials in that county decide.

While most of the new lines will be built in place of existing lines, the Dorchester County portion will add new lines to the landscape, which county officials say would harm tourism and agriculture. Dorchester County Council would like the MAPP lines to be placed underground or underwater, both of which would add to the cost of the project.

Replacing existing lines with new lines would pump an estimated $260 million into the Sussex County economy during construction, Elliott said. The 27-mile Sussex County line would be built on existing Delmarva Power rights of way and would start in Delmar and pass through Dagsboro en route to the Indian River plant.

Two new poles, made of steel, and foundations will be placed in the same location as the existing poles.

The new poles will range in height from 155 to 165 feet and be about 16 feet apart. The line will terminate at a new AC/DC converter station near the power plant. Construction is expected to begin in 2012 in Sussex County.

Elliott said MAPP would create a bigger pipeline for delivering new, clean energy solutions for an increase in wind, solar and even nuclear energy opportunities.

“MAPP is the most effective way to secure reliable, diverse and low-cost energy for all residents on the peninsula,” Elliott said.

The original project contained another 100 miles of lines north from the Indian River plant to the Salem, N.J., nuclear power plant. Elliott said because of economic reasons that portion of the project was removed. “It was found there was no need to spend the additional money,” he said.


I was a big Posner fan in law school, mostly because he was so much fun to pick on, I so hate the “Chicago school.”  But here’s another Posner, doing good!  It’s a hilarious opinion, all the better because it so clearly tells FERC and PJM what to do with their rate shifting cost apportionment.  GO POSNER!


Here’s the decision:

Illinois Commerce Commission, et al. v. FERC


Two issues in this case:

1) PJM/FERC pricing based on marginal cost v. pricing including sunk costs.  That one went for PJM/FERC, and American Electric and others lost in just a few paragraphs.

2) Where the action is — Ohio and Illinois Commissions objected to the 500+kV cost allocation on a pro rata basis, that “their rats should be raised by a uniform amount sufficient to defray the facilities’ costs.”

What’s particularly interesting to me is that this is all about “Project Mountaineer,” which PJM doesn’t even want to acknowledge exists!  the Susquehanna-Roseland line that I’m working against is the NE part of line 1, and the MAPP line through now “just” a part of Delaware is the NE part of the southern line, line 4.  Here’s the magnitude of Project Mountaineer – the Susquehanna-Roseland line is QUAD 500kV plus double circuiting the existing 230kV line, that’s one big project:


FYI, in the Cudahy dissent, he did some digging, and there is a Project Mountaineer tootnote quoting PJM stating that Project Mountaineer “would bring about substantial congestion relief and reliability improvements increasing Midwest-to-east transfers by 5,000 MW.”  See Ventyx, Major Transmission Constraints in PJM (2007).

A quick sidebar… FYI, from Delaware Electric Cooperative 2009 Energy Plan – “CONFIDENTIAL”, arguing for the MAPP transmission project…


… and they report that transmission congestion is down 75% to 275 hours ANNUALLY!  Really… so for that 275 hours we should build the $1.2 MAPP project?  HOW STUPID DO YOU THINK WE ARE?


OK, back to Posners 7th Circuit decision.  It was PJM’s idea, approved by FERC, to hit up all the utilities, and Illinois, a BIG example of the problem, would have had to pay out some $480 million while not receiving one dime of benefit.  PJM used the theory that, well, PJM used to do it this way all the time before in massive infrastructure buildouts, but as Posner reminded them, that was then and this is now, PJM is a lot different now, Illinois wasn’t even part of the picture.

Posner was pissed off that there was no data at all to support their desired allocation, no data, no specifics about difficulties in assessing benefits, no lawsuits about inequities, no particulars, “[n]ot even the roughest estimate of likely benefits to the objecting utilities… oh yes, he let them have it… for page after page… and notes that FERC “brief devotes only five pages to the 500kV pricing issue.”  FERC seems to presume a similar brainwashing in the courts that they and utilities presume of Commissions and legislatures, one that I see to often, that frantic claim of URGENT need, ‘WE’RE GOING TO FREEZE IN THE DARK IN AN INCUBATOR WITHOUT A JOB” theory, presented despite documented long term decrease in demand across the country.  Once more with feeling, HOW STUPID DO YOU THINK WE ARE?

Oh, these guys irritate me.  Anyway, check out this decision and consider the impact on all the 500kV and above projects applied for or waiting in the wings.

It’s time for another Horse’s Ass Award!

Horse's Ass Award

Last night was the Delaware Electric Cooperative Annual meeting.  It was well attended to say the least.  last year, according to their Annual Report, there were 900 some people who came, this  year, I’d have to guess it was a lot more!


We got there around 4:30 or so, with flyers to hand out … drat, we forgot the “Green Delaware” banner at home.  The issue of the day is the new coal plant, the BIG new coal plant, that Delaware Electric Cooperative has proposed it join in with Old Dominion Electric Cooperative to build.  EEEEEEEUW, bad idea!  Anyway, we spent some time at the door deciding what to do, Alan went in and said hello to Bill Andrew, President and CEO.


Alan made sure to give him a flyer.  After a bit of conversation about the coal plant, Andrew got huffy when Alan reminded him of the air emissions details from that coal plant’s permit application.  Alan’s good at raising those sort of details that project promoters would rather not acknowledge.  Specifics, from the Green Delaware Alert:

Emissions of climate-changing carbon dioxide would be 14.6 million tons per year.  Emissions of health damaging air pollutants are estimated in the permit applications to be about 42 million pounds per year = 114,000 pounds per day = 4700 pounds per hour.  Most of these would be belched from 615 foot smokestacks, enabling them to travel long distances.  The pollutants include 20 million pounds annually of carbon monoxide, 7.4 million pounds of sulfur dioxide, 5.4 million pounds of particulate matter–dust, 566,000 pounds of sulfuric acid, 920 pounds of  lead, 118 pounds of mercury, among others. All these are regulated because they are proven to cause illness, death, reduced intelligence in children, birth defects, and other major problems.

Anyway, we were at the door, pictured below, handing out flyers.  I would always identify myself, saying, “HI!  I’m Carol with Green Delaware, and here’s some information about the coal plant that the coop wants to build” or some such.  The green papered handout that I put together had a Green Delaware name and logo and contact info, the white handout was from Wise Energy for Virginia, based on David Schlissel’s testimony.

Green Delaware – Alert 666

Synapse Report – Fact Sheet – Hampton Road/Cypress Creek


Here’s the door we were at, handing out flyers, and we ran out all too soon.  A short guy was playing doorman, he had come out after Alan had gone in to see Bill Andrew and was in the DEC red shirt, with a name tag (hereinafter “Short Guy in Red”).  Alan had asked him earlier if he wanted a copy of the handouts and he said he did not.    After we’d been there a while, they’d sent out fully uniformed state police, one standing right at the center in front of the door at the top of the steps, there was a guy in a dark suit with a gold shield on his jacket talking with the cops and a “secret service” looking security guy with the earplug headset, moving around fast and looking very “important.”  I needed to find the bathroom, and as I went towards the door, Short Guy in Red shut it in my face, and I said I was looking for the bathroom and he opened it, not very willingly.  I asked where the bathroom was and then went directly there, getting one photo of the group,  above, and then met Alan in the main hallway.  As I had walked over to the middle of the hall, back towards the entrance, I heard a cop say, “Oh, there she is” right behind me as I passed.  Hmmmmmmm… We went toward the front, Alan went to the check in to ask for one of the handout bags with lit in it, and Short Guy in Red jumped in and reached out and slapped his hand on the stuff and said that Alan couldn’t have it.  We went round a little bit, and Alan apologized to the woman at the booth, saying that he hadn’t intended to put her in a difficult spot.  The Short Guy in Red told us to leave, that this was for members only, I noted we were not being disruptive, we weren’t infiltrating the hall and weren’t even in line for free dinner, so what was so objectionable, and what was so threatening about our being there, and we had a few more back and forths, I told him I was thinking about whether he had the right to eject us.  He said he didn’t want pictures taken (damn, I should have gotten a photo of him refusing to let Alan have the info).  I gave him my card, said he could read about it tomorrow (today) and pointed out my site.   And we left.

Drum roll please…

It’s time for another Horse’s Ass Award!

Horse's Ass Award

This one goes to:


Mr. Mark A. Nielson
V.P. Staff Services
Delaware Electric Cooperative
P.O. Box 600
Greenwood, DE 19950


If Delaware Electric Coop is so worried, it seems to me that they need MORE scrutiny.

If Delaware Electric Cooperative doesn’t want its members to know about the coal plant it’s planning to build, they need MORE scrutiny.