backup, resilience and lowering outage repair times to only a
few days at the most. This is grid failure No. 3.
4) Nuclear power cannot be financed on the grid because
no investors are willing to invest in nuclear power. However, studies show that nuclear energy costs are lower
than renewables when necessary storage is factored into
the overall planning process. Grid failure No. 4 is the
inability to provide for financing of new nuclear power
plants using new technologies.
Home microgrids can fix all the above problems. For example, a home microgrid owner with a 100-k Wh battery
that costs $100 per k Wh would spend $10,000 on that battery. His or her EV would cost $30,000. The battery could
allow quick charging at 10 times the rate of the service drop,
or 100 k W, and charge an EV in 30 minutes at home at any
time of the day instead of six hours at night. With a 100-
k Wh battery at home, the homeowner could install more
than 10 k W solar and take the extra energy and store it in
the battery for use the next day. The homeowner could invest in 1 k W nuclear power unit at an upfront cost of about
$7,000 and take that 1 k W continuously around the clock
and store it in the battery for use the next day. The nuclear
energy would cost less than 2 cents per k Wh for the next
40 years and not need any fossil fuel backup power at all!
The home microgrid would decouple the running of air
conditioners in the summer from the utility peak demand
so peak demand charges and rates would no longer apply
or be charged. The monthly service connection fee could
be a low flat fee of $50 per month, looking a lot like your
monthly internet service fee. The net energy take from
the grid would be about zero so there would be no money
spent by the microgrid owner other than the flat monthly
fee. There would be no reason for the homeowner to even
try to conserve energy because he or she would have plenty of energy from the self-owned sources all the time. And,
most importantly, when the city these homeowners live in
goes into an extended blackout period due to the closing of
local gas and coal plants and not beefing up the transmission system, the home microgrid owners would continue to
have power from their own off the grid source. This could
have been a beautiful solution to avoid the problems Puerto
Rico is currently having. Elon Musk has this vision also.
So, we should change the rules that allow home microgrids to develop instead of protecting monopolistic practices that prevent microgrid development. Home microgrids
provide a pathway to achieving 100 percent conversion off
fossil fuels and this is likely the only way to achieve conversion off fossil fuels in the near term and keep highly reliable
electric service to homeowners.
Eugene Preston, PE, PhD, IEEE
BY CORINA RIVERA LINARES, CHIEF ANALYST, TRANSMISSIONHUB
PJM Board Authorizes $1 Billion
in Electric Transmission Projects
PJM Interconnection said that its board has authorized $1 billion in various electric transmission projects—including reliability
and market efficiency improvements—to ensure efficient and reliable power supplies for the 65 million customers that PJM serves.
PJM noted that the board approved upgrades in areas served by
American Electric Power; FirstEnergy’s American Transmission
Systems and Pennsylvania Electric Co.; Exelon’s Commonwealth
Edison; Dominion; East Kentucky Power Cooperative; and Public
Service Enterprise Group’s Public Service Electric & Gas (PSE&G).
Many of the individual projects cost less than $5 million, PJM said.
One project that is estimated to cost $197 million will reinforce 69-kV transmission lines to maintain reliable electricity
supplies for more than 15,000 customers in Union County, New
Jersey, PJM said.
According to the PJM Sept. 14 Transmission Expansion Advisory Committee “Reliability Analysis Update,” the estimated $197
million project in the PSEG Transmission Zone involves building
a 230/69-kV station at Springfield; building a 230/69-kV station
at Stanley Terrace; and building a 69-kV network between Front
Street, Springfield, and Stanley Terrace.
The required in-service date is June 1, 2018, the update added.
Another project involving the construction of a new 69-kV line
will serve customers near Camden, New Jersey, and is estimated
to cost $98 million, PJM said.
According to the update, the estimated $98 million project in
the PSEG Transmission Zone involves building a new 230/69-
kV switching substation at Hilltop utilizing the PSE&G property and the K-2237 230-kV line; building a new 69-kV line between Hilltop and Woodbury, providing the third supply; and
converting Runnemede’s straight bus to a ring bus (eliminating
the bus fault violation) and building a 69-kV line from Hilltop
The Woodbury station, after conversion to 69 kV, will be supplied by two 69-kV lines from the Gloucester 69-kV station with no
other 69-kV source in the near vicinity to supply the third source,
leaving a need to provide a third supply to satisfy FERC Form 715
The update added that the cost-effective solution for the southern area is to convert stations to 69 kV. Long term, it will be cost
effective to supply all PSE&G stations in Gloucester and Camden
County from 69 kV because there is less infrastructure required
and the system benefits from being planned to, and operating at,
higher voltages, the update said.
The required in-service date is June 1, 2018, according to the update.