mapptransmissionoverviewSlowly but surely, Delmarva Power/PEPCO is admitting the Mid-Atlantic Power Pathway (MAPP) isn’t needed. We’ve weathered the weather, and they’re not even utilizing demand response, so where’s the need?  They’ve delayed this project, shortened it when they cut out the part through Delaware from Indian River Power Plant to the Salem nuclear plant, delayed and delayed, and now they’re REALLY delaying it, putting it off until at least 2019-2021.

Remember how the sky would fall and we’d be sweltering in the dark on a respirator without a job if this didn’t go through right away?  Well, guess again, and again, and again… the system is just fine, we can turn the lights on, we’re OK, and this line still isn’t needed and won’t be, probably ever!

MAPP PHI announces delay in project 8-19-11

From MAPP’s corporate parent, PEPCO Holdings Inc.:

As the Environmental Coordinator for the Mid-Atlantic Power Pathway (MAPP), I want to provide you with a brief update on the project.

As you may recall, MAPP is a proposed, high-voltage, electric transmission line that Pepco Holdings, Inc. (PHI) plans to build, beginning in northern Virginia, crossing the southern and eastern shores of Maryland, and ending in Delaware.

I want you to know that PHI has notified the Maryland Public Service Commission and Virginia State Corporation Commission that the company is requesting temporary delays in the Commissions’ reviews of the respective applications filed by the utility’s subsidiaries, Pepco and Delmarva Power, for state regulatory approval of MAPP. These requests were filed after PJM Interconnection’s recent analyses indicated that the MAPP in-service date should be moved from 2015 to the 2019-2021 time frame. (PJM is the operator of the regional electric power grid).

However, PJM is also currently evaluating the criteria it uses to determine the need for transmission projects. Once this process is completed, PJM will reassess the need and timeline for transmission expansion in the region.

At this time, PHI will review the work required to support MAPP based on the new in-service date, and will keep you informed on subsequent developments regarding this project.

Please be assured that PHI and PJM are dedicated to maintaining the reliability of this region’s transmission system, and will continue to analyze the need for new transmission projects that provide safe and reliable service for customers.

For additional information about MAPP, please visit the project website at or contact me via phone at 302-283-6115 or e-mail at

Also, members of our MAPP team would be happy to meet with you in person to discuss the project. Please let me know if you would like to have a meeting scheduled.

Mark Okonowicz

MAPP – Environmental Coordinator

There a link on the Press Release to a PJM letter:

PJM’s MAPP Letter to PEPCO

The MAPP transmission project is needing a DOE EIS because they’re getting DOE funding for it.  What’s the status on that?  D-E-L-A-Y… delay delay delay…

DOE’s Key EIS Schedule

The MAPP EIS doesn’t seem to be happening… The DOE site says that it was to be released next month, or maybe December, but rumor has it that the DOE is waiting on info from the applicants… delay delay delay… and in the meantime, the DOE is still accepting (sounds like REQUESTING) Comments:

Community and Environmental Defense Services states that:  While the Scoping comment period ended April 4, 2011, DOE will continue accepting comments, which should be directed to:

Douglas Boren
Office of NEPA Policy and Compliance (GC–54)
U.S. Department of Energy
1000 Independence Avenue, SW.,
Washington, DC 20585

Fax: 202–586–7031

Again, contact info if you’d like to send a “Thank You” note of appreciation  to Mark Okonowicz and PEPCO for admitting what we’ve all known all along, that this MAPP transmission line is not needed:



PEPCO is falling down on the job

December 12th, 2010


Nearly two years ago, I attended a hearing for the Delmarva Power Integrated Resource Plan, which was the most bizarre hearing I’ve ever experienced.  At that time, I raised issues about decreasing demand, entered into the record the PJM demand documents that we’d used in the Susquehanna-Roseland transmission docket in New Jersey (also PJM), and raised concerns that no SAIDI, SAIFI and CAIDI reliability info was reported.  After that meeting, I presented Delmarva Power’s attorney Todd Goodman with a well-deserved “Horse’s Ass” award for his performance at that meeting.  The points I’d raised at that meeting about what was missing in their “IRP” were oh-so-valid:

Transcript – Delmarva IRP Hearing December 3 2008

It took a while, but last week, the Washington Post featured an article showing that PEPCO, utility in D.C. and Maryland, and the corporate parent of Delmarva Power, has an inexcusably miserable record for outages.   That’s something that’s demonstrated in the SAIDI, SAIFI and CAIDI reports!  And folks, don’t go conflating transmission with distribution as the cause for the outages, as utilities would have you do.  Anyway, here’s that article:

Washington Post Analysis: Why PEPCO can’t keep the lights on

PEPCO executives acknowledge need to improve reliability

As you read the article, note there’s not a word on D-E-R-E-G-U-L-A-T-I-O-N as a contributory factor, much less the primary reason.

Washington Post analysis: Why Pepco can’t keep the lights on

By Joe Stephens and Mary Pat Flaherty
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, December 5, 2010; 12:38 AM

In high-powered Washington, one of the world’s most wired and connected metro areas, the region’s leading electric company has trouble just keeping the lights on.

Pepco delivers power to 778,000 customers in the District and neighboring parts of Maryland, including some of the most affluent communities and most important institutions in the nation. But in reliability studies, the company ranks near the bottom in keeping the power on and bringing it back once it goes out, an analysis by The Washington Post has found.

In fact, the average Pepco customer experienced 70 percent more outages than customers of other big city utilities that took part in one 2009 survey. And the lights stayed out more than twice as long.

Pepco’s reliability began declining five years ago, records show; company officials acknowledge that they have known of the problem but that they only started to focus on it more recently.

Moreover, Pepco has long blamed trees as a primary culprit for the frequency and duration of its outages, implying that the problem is beyond its control. But that explanation does not hold up under scrutiny, The Post analysis found. By far, Pepco equipment failures, not trees, caused the most sustained power interruptions last year.
Read the rest of this entry »


I got word a couple days ago that the MAPP transmission line, Mid-Atlantic Power Pathway (not Mid-Continent Area Power Pool) application has been filed in Maryland.

Here is the Maryland Public Service Commission page for this project.

The Sierra Club has been on the front lines fighting MAPP.  Here’s the SIERRA CLUB MAPP & PATH PAGE.

This is Travis Miller/Morningstar’s take on PEPCO and MAPP:

In our first meeting since the Conectiv sale to Calpine, management detailed its goal of 12% compound annual growth rate in total rate base at power delivery, with transmission rate base more than doubling and distribution rate base climbing $1.4 billion (37%) behind $5.2 billion of capital expenditures the next five years. Of that, its Mid-Atlantic Power Pathway project represents $1.2 billion. The project has been delayed but now appears set to go forward with an in-service date in 2015. Line capacity would be the equivalent of a large coal plant entering the region on an energy basis. Management estimated $150 million-$200 million of energy savings for Maryland customers as a result of the project, all of which is lost margin for area merchant generators.

Here’s PEPCO’s 3Q 2010 Financial Results.

Why isn’t this application reported anywhere?  Well, anywhere that google picks up?


(Just looking for an excuse to trot out that pole-dancing bear!)

BEAR ALERT!!! Couldn’t happen to a more deserving company — Google Alert just sent me notice that one of my “favorite” companies is Zack’s “Bear of the Day!”  Why?  Well, they specifically mention that MAPP transmission project that just doesn’t seem to be needed:

Bear Of The Day: Pepco Holdings, Inc. (POM)

By Zacks Investment Research on June 30, 2010 |

Pepco’s (POM: 15.68 -0.11 -0.70%) $1.2 billion Mid-Atlantic Power Pathway (MAPP) transmission project could be delayed due to slower-than-expected load growth. The PJM Interconnection is expected to update the Regional Transmission Expansion Plan (RTEP) in June 2010 and a 1-2 year delay in the project is likely.

Pepco Holdings current trailing 12-month earnings multiple is 17.5, compared to the 21.0 average for the peer group and 18.7 for the S&P 500. Over the last five years, the company s shares have traded in a range of 7.4x to 22.6x trailing 12-month earnings. The trailing 12-month EV/EBITDA multiple is slightly above the industry average.

Check out their individual reports for other utilities and industries.  Let’s hear it for the capital market crash — ain’t the depression grand?!?!?!


How bad is it?  First the Indian River to Salem leg is cancelled, then the whole thing is suspended… and here we sit… waiting… and we all know that PJM demand is down the toilet.

Click here for the last RTEP Mid-Atlantic subcommittee presentation — see if you can download it!


And they opened an office and now they announce:

MAPP Office Hours Change

The MAPP Office, located at 828 Airpax Road, Suite B700, Cambridge, Md., has adjusted their hours to coincide with the present patronage of the office.  The new hours will be Mondays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Evening hours are available upon request by calling 410-221-6207.

Meanwhile, we wait for the RTEP that just won’t come out.  How delayed can it get?  I guess all that backwards engineering to demonstrate need takes a while, eh?


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)