The application for the Potomac Appalachian Transmission Highline, PATH, has been withdrawn.  Notice was just sent out, not long after PJM issued a press release saying that PATH was “delayed.”

PJM’s PATH “delay” Press Release 2-28-2011

And here’s the one we’ve been waiting for, Potomac Edison’s Notice of Withdrawal (that didn’t take long!):

PATH – Notice of Withdrawal

I’m looking on the PJM website, and can’t find the 2010 RTEP, so I call the number on the bottom of the Press Release, 866-756-6397,  wanting to know where the 2010 RTEP is (one of the attorneys on the Susquehanna-Roseland line had asked about that, and I was stunned I couldn’t find it!!!), and when the 2011 RTEP is due out.  No one can help, they’re in a meeting, “anyone that could help you is in a meeting.”  Someone will call back… Uh-huh… right…

What they say is what we’ve been saying for how long?

PJM annually reviews its transmission expansion plans. A preliminary analysis suggests that the need for the line has moved further into the future. Therefore, the PJM Board has decided to hold the PATH project in abeyance in the 2011 Regional Transmission Expansion Plan (RTEP). The preliminary analysis used the most current economic forecasts, demand response commitments and potential new generation.

Over the last two years, the recession and the dramatic change in the economic outlook caused PJM to forecast lower growth in the use of electricity. Growth in the use of electricity correlates with economic growth. The forecasted slower growth rate likely will delay the need for the line.

So now, how to find that 2010 RTEP???

Susquehanna-Roseland Reply Briefs were due yesterday — I’m representing Stop the Lines.

So it’s nap time today…

Here they are!

STL – Reply Brief

STL – Certification & Exhibits

Municipal Intervenors Reply Brief

Environmental Intervenors Reply Brief

Environmental Intervenors – Certification

Environmental Intervenors – Exhibits

Montville Board of Education Reply Brief

New Jersey Rate Counsel Reply Brief

PSEG Reply Brief

Hmmmmmmmmm… I don’t see anything from Exelon…

Happy reading!  Dig some of the exhibits, like the Motion to Withdraw from PATH-VA, the PJM 2010 Load Forecast (which shows demand has been down down down since the peak of 2006), and the sensitivity analysis that shot down PATH in Virginia!

That’s the PATH path…

They’re withdrawing their application, saying they want them timed together — if so, why withdraw, and not just ask for suspension? “It keeps the blood flowing” they say, but I’d say it keeps the blood boiling. Why not just admit it — it’s not needed, and there’s no way they can prove, and now they tacitly admit they can’t even CLAIM it’s needed.

PATH’s site

A decent article from the Leesburg Journal:

PATH Seeks To Withdraw, Suspend Richmond Hearings

By Margaret Morton
(Created: Tuesday, December 22, 2009 7:48 PM EST)

Representatives of PATH-VA filed several motions Monday with the Virginia State Corporation Commission aimed at scuttling-for now-its application to construct the Virginia portion of an almost 280-mile 765kV transmission line that is designed to bring power from West Virginia to Maryland. The venture is a joint partnership between Allegheny Energy and American Electric Power.

First, PATH filed a motion to withdraw its application to build the line in Virginia. Simultaneously, the company sought to suspend the evidentiary hearing that is slated to begin Jan. 19 in Richmond, pending a decision on the motion to withdraw the application.

PATH attorneys indicated the company intends to re-file an application to the SCC next year, based on the most up to date electrical load information available. Those forecasts are scheduled to be released in May.

At the same time, through Allegheny affiliate Potomac Edison Company, the company filed a new application with the Maryland Public Service Commission to build the line and the Kemptown substation in that state. The commission in September had denied the application on grounds PATH did not qualify as an electrical company under Maryland law.

In a statement issued Monday, PATH representative Mark Nitowski said the filings were intended to “align the procedural schedules in Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia to enable “regulators to consider the need for the project based on the same facts.”

Under the current schedule, the Virginia hearings would conclude before similar hearings are held in either Maryland or West Virginia, PATH attorneys said, claiming it would be better for regulators to consider the arguments at the same time.

The date of the Richmond hearings was set in July, and opponents of the line, who next month plan to challenge the company claims that the project is essential to address growing demand for power, expressed frustration over what they saw were simply delaying tactics by PATH to gain time in order to build a more convincing case for need of the 765kV line.

The filings were in line with what PATH attorney Richard Gary, of the Hunton & Williams law firm in Richmond, indicated the company would do during a public hearing last month in Lovettsville.

Attorney John Flannery, who represents the residents of the Rivers Edge subdivision near Lovettsville, had predicted that PATH would invoke procedural gambits to buy the time the company needed to prove need. Although PATH requested more time, both in November and again on Monday, to make its case, it has not explained why its original applications to all three states could not meet the required standard.

SCC Hearing Examiner Alexander Skirpan, who presided over a public hearing in Lovettsville last month, has not ruled on the PATH motion to withdraw. But, he did deny the company’s motion to suspend the January hearings.

The claim that the PATH line is needed to address power capacity shortfalls is at the crux of the struggle and the legal maneuvers come at a time when national electrical statistics show power usage is flat or declining, in part because of increased conservation methods by users and in part because of the economy.

Dominion Virginia Power recently announced it would scale back a line upgrade in southern Loudoun based on new demand forecasts. The company had planned to upgrade from 115kV to 230kV its line between Arcola and Middleburg. Now that upgrade will only extend to a new substation at New Road east of Rt. 15.

The line serves both NOVEC and Dominion customers, but, citing a growth of only 13 percent in its service area, but a 71 percent growth in the NOVEC area, Dominion said it would concentrate its efforts on the four-mile section from Arcola to New Road. The company cited different types of customers and energy conservation measures as factors in its decision.

And need is what Lovettsville-area residents say PATH can’t prove. SCC expert witnesses in the energy field also testified that the company had not met the proof of need test, with one arguing the company had relied on outdated modeling and flawed assumptions.

Alfred Ghiorzi, who has been a prominent figure in the fight against the line, said Tuesday, “I think they’re trying to game the situation again. They can’t prove need, that seems obvious.”

While PATH attorneys said they did not wish to delay the applications unnecessarily, Flannery noted Skirpan has already allowed PATH two extensions of time for rebuttal-from Dec. 22, to Dec. 31 and now to Jan. 4. Flannery said his concern is that a scheduled oral argument set for Dec. 30 would be a “set up” that would provide PATH the opportunity to compress the schedule to favor the company, extending its deadline to file proof of need while reducing the time citizen-intervenors have to examine the PATH testimony.

“PATH’s intention is not to exhaust its remedies, it is to exhaust us and our resources,” Flannery said to property owners.

Ghiorzi took a more philosophical view. “We’ll have to start all over again. It keeps the blood flowing,” he said of the project’s twists and turns.

HA!  The Commission staff from both the state of Virginia and the state of West Virginia have both brought Motions to Dismiss the PATH transmission application.  Hilarious!  About time!  PATH is the Potomac-Appalachian Transmission Highline.

Virginia Commission Staff Motion to Dismiss

West Virginia Commisison Staff Motion to Dismiss

Seems there’s a theme goin’ on…


Potomac Appalachian Transmission Highline

The Washington Post says:

Allen Staggers, a spokesman for Allegheny Energy and the Potomac-Appalachian Transmission Highline, or PATH project, as it’s commonly known, said it was too soon to determine the effect of the ruling. “Our legal staff is reviewing the decision so we can determine how to proceed with next steps,” he said.

Allen Staggers — Ja, I’ll bet he sure does now!!!


Yes, “transmission from hell” is everywhere… here are some sites for opponents of the PATH line:

PATH of Destruction

People Against Transmission Hell-Lines

Pennsylvania Land Trust Association

Sierra Club’s “Pull the Plug on Coal by Wire”

Piedmont Environmental Council – Transmission

The Applicants who just got slapped up by Maryland:

Potomac Appalachian Transmission Highline

And here’s the TOADIES for PATH – dig the logo, compare with PATH:

Path Education & Awareness Team


Maryland’s Public Service Commission seems, indeed, to be dedicated to the public!  It has rejected the Potomac-Appalachian Transmission Highline, PATH, transmission project application.

The Baltimore Sun gets it:

PSC right to reject power line

In the Frederick News-Post:

State rejects PATH application

Maryland Commission Rejects PATH Transmission Application

Posted Thursday, September 10, 2009

Commission says state law requires that an “electric company” make the application.

Story by Pam Kasey

The Maryland Public Service Commission has rejected The Potomac Edison Co.’s application on behalf of PATH Allegheny Transmission Co. for authorization to construct the Potomac-Appalachian Transmission Highline for procedural reasons.

“The Public Utility Companies article authorizes us to issue a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) only to an ‘electric company,’ a status PATH undeniably lacks,” commission wrote in a Sept. 9 order.

“The law does not allow us to ignore or circumvent this requirement by granting a CPCN to Potomac Edison ‘on behalf of’ PATH when Potomac Edison will neither construct nor operate the proposed line,” the order reads.

The issue fundamentally is about what entity can properly make the application, said Allegheny spokesman Doug Colafella.

“We see it as a procedural decision based on interpretation of Maryland law,” Colafella said.

The situation is analogous to that faced by in West Virginia when it applied to build the 500-kilovolt line now under construction across northern West Virginia.

An analogous situation exists in West Virginia, where the commission has to confer status as public utilities on Allegheny Energy’s Trans-Allegheny Interstate Line Co. and the Allegheny-AEP joint venture PATH in order to grant them Certificates of Convenience and Necessity to construct power lines.

While one of four Maryland commissioners dissented, three judged that their authority is not so broad.

About 20 miles of the 270-mile Potomac-Appalachian Transmission Highline, planned to stretch from the John Amos plant in St. Albans to West Virginia’s eastern panhandle and across Virginia, would run through Maryland, Colafella said.

“The Kemptown substation in Maryland is a critical piece of the PATH project,” he said. “It’s the terminus point of the PATH transmission line for a good reason: It’s the point in the transmission system where several key lines intersect, and PATH will reinforce the grid by tying in at that point.”

Allegheny and AEP will continue to pursue the line in Virginia and West Virginia, he said.

And he emphasized the commission’s note in its order that the decision “should not be read to foreshadow any views on the merits of the proposed transmission line project.”

“We’re looking at what options exist to successfully file an application for PATH in Maryland,” he said.