Coal Tattoo

PATH update: Md. rejects power line; W.Va. hearings set


Big news today on the PATH power line:  Maryland’s Public Service Commission has rejected the power line application, ruling that Potomac Edison could not apply for project approval in place of the PATH Allegheny Transmission Company because Potomac Edison, an Allegheny Energy subsidiary, was not going to be operating the PATH line.

The ruling is available here. It was issued yesterday, but word of it is circulating more widely today.

Over at The Power Line blog, Bill Howley had this to say about this ruling:

Wow.  Stay tuned to see what happens next.  Will AEP/Allegheny have to completely reorganize their phony front companies?  Somehow they have to figure out how to get a real “electric company” in a position to operate the MD section of PATH.  Or, they could chop off the end of PATH and put the end of the line in VA or WV.  Or, they could use the MD rejection to forget the whole PATH project?

Bill added:

West Virginians should consider what would happen if AEP/Allegheny pulled out of Maryland completely and ended the line in Jefferson County.  The planned substation that is currently the eastern end of PATH at Kemptown, MD, is planned to take in about 50 acres, and would be one of the largest substations of its kind in the world.  That would be a great addition to historic Shepherdstown.

But, Allegheny Energy has already issued a news release pointing out that the Maryland PSC also determined that Potomac Edison may re-file the application on its own merit and that this week’s decision “should not be read to foreshadow any views on the merits of the proposed transmission line project.”

Interestingly, Allegheny did not say immediately indicate that it would re-file the Maryland application, and instead included this in its statement:

Allegheny Energy and American Electric Power, partners in the joint venture to build the 280-mile multi-state transmission line, remain committed to the PATH project, which is necessary to strengthen the regional transmission grid and resolve reliability concerns of the existing system. Therefore, the companies continue to move forward with approval proceedings in West Virginia and Virginia as options concerning the Maryland segment of the line are considered.

Late last week — on a Friday,  right before a holiday weekend — the West Virginia Public Service Commission announced its schedule for public comment hearings on the application for approval of the West Virginia portion of PATH.

Here’s the schedule, as outlined in this PSC order:

— Tuesday, Sept. 22, 12:30 pm  & 6:30 pm and Wednesday Sept. 23,  8:30 am at Shepherd University, Frank Arts Center, 260 University Drive, Shepherdstown.

— Monday, Sept. 28,  12:30 pm  and 6:30 pm at Days Hotel & Conference Center in Flatwoods, 2000 Sutton Lane, 1-79, Exit 67.

— Friday, Oct. 2,  12:30 pm  and 6:30 pm at Culture Center State Theater, Plaza Level of the Culture Center, State Capitol Complex, 1900 Kanawha Blvd E, Charleston.

— Tuesday, Oct. 13, 12:30 pm  and 6:30 pm at Canaan
Valley Resort & Conference Center, Spruce Room, Route 32 N, Canaan
Valley State Park, Davis.

— Thursday, Oct. 22, 12:30 pm and 6:30 pm at West Virginia Wesleyan College, Campus Center Social , Hall, 59 College Avenue, Buckhannon.