The Potomac Appalachian Transmission Highline (PATH) is a multi-billion dollar proposal to build a 275-mile long 765-kV transmission line starting at the Amos coal plant in West Virginia, through West Virginia, Virginia and Maryland. In Virginia, it would have crossed through Frederick, Clarke, and Loudoun counties.
The contentious project was met with stiff opposition throughout the area and this latest development will push the project farther into the future, and may very well be its death knell.
The statement from PJM said:
Based on these latest results, the Board has decided to hold the PATH project in abeyance in its 2011 Regional Transmission Expansion Plan (RTEP). The Board further directs the sponsoring Transmission Owners to suspend current development efforts on the PATH project, subject to those activities necessary to maintain the project in its current state, while PJM conducts more rigorous analysis of the potential need for PATH as part of its continuing RTEP process. This action, however, does not, at this time, constitute a directive by PJM to the sponsoring Transmission Owners to cancel or abandon the PATH project.
PJM will complete this more rigorous analysis of the PATH project and other transmission requirements and then report the results to stakeholders when it is available. The Board will review this comprehensive analysis as part of its consideration of the 2011 Regional Transmission Expansion Plan.
Opponents to the project are calling this a very good day. In an email sent out today Piedmont Environmental Council representative Bri West said,” Having been involved in a number of transmission line fights over the past 5 years, it’s really gratifying to see something go the way it should, versus the way the utility wants. There is always the chance that PATH will reapply, but today is a very good day.”
Indeed, PJM was very clear in their statement that this does not mean the project has been abandoned, saying, “PJM will complete this more rigorous analysis of the PATH project and other transmission requirements and then report the results to stakeholders when it is available. The Board will review this comprehensive analysis as part of its consideration of the 2011 Regional Transmission Expansion Plan”