Questions and Real Answers about the
Question 1: Is the following statement correct?
“Transource Energy plans to build a new overhead electric transmission line project to address a problem with the electric grid and increase consumer access to more affordable power in the mid-Atlantic.” (http://www.transourceenergyprojects.com/IndependenceEnergyConnection/)
Answer: There is no “problem” with the electric grid. When demand is higher, the overseeing regional transmission organization (PJM) that coordinates the movement of wholesale electricity in all or parts of 13 states and the District of Columbia, has to switch from the very cheap gas-produced energy from Pennsylvania to the much more expensive coal-fired produced energy from Maryland and other areas. This costs PJM and its overseeing companies money. PJM and Transource call this demand “congestion” and “gridlock” - misleading terms that conjure up visions of outages and brownouts. This is not the case as defined on their own website. It just means that they have to use higher priced energy which cuts into profits.
Question 2: Will I see a lower electric bill? They say so! “PJM estimates that the project will save the region’s customers more than $600 million in electric costs over the next 15 years.” (http://www.transourceenergyprojects.com/IndependenceEnergyConnection/)
Answer: Hm, well let’s do the math. According to PJM’s Annual Report, they used 792,314 GWh of energy last year. They had annual billings of $39.05 billion (yes, billion). They served 13 states plus D.C. (an area with 243,417 square miles) and a population of 65 million. (http://www.pjm.com/-/media/about-pjm/newsroom/annual-reports/2016-annual-report.ashx?la=en)
This project is projected to cost “… $320 million. PJM estimates that the project will save the region’s customers approximately $600 million in electric costs over the next 15 years.” (http://www.transourceenergyprojects.com/IndependenceEnergyConnection/docs/IEC_MediaRelease_June2017.pdf#view=Fit)
$600 million - $320 million = $280 million in cost savings
$280 million/65 million people = $4.31 per person
$4.31 per person/15 years = 29 cents per YEAR <— That’s a lot of savings right there??
Let’s say this line serves a smaller area, conservatively 10 million, based on PJM's suppliers of energy in the served areas (in MD, VA, and DC). Even if the population size served is much smaller, the “savings” is tiny at best. It would be a savings of $1.80 per YEAR!
To top it off, it is highly unlikely that residents in PA will get even that meager savings. Why not? Because they will be ferrying your cheaper PA energy to the other states in the grid. The receiving customers may see some tiny change in their bills. By using our gas-fired plants here, the use of the coal-fired plants will decrease even more. One of the three plants in the Baltimore region are already decommissioned and one only ran a few days last year. These plants have over 420 people working there some of whom may soon be out of jobs, so that Transource can make a huge profit.
Question 3: But it’s a done deal right? We have no choice.
Answer: Thankfully, we have over 700 people and families in the area now fighting this. It has been done before and we have some excellent advisors from other areas who have fought and won to not build these unsightly, hazardous, and damaging transmission lines.
Please go to our website www.stoptransourcePA.org for more information and join our Facebook page: Stop Transource in Pennsylvania and Maryland and the Facebook page in Maryland: Stop TRANSOURCE Power Lines Harford County, MD
Get involved with either or both groups! We have tons of information on the website and Facebook groups. Don’t enter any negotiations with Transource before seeking us out. We can help. We have the Office Of Consumer Advocate and the Public Utility Commission looking into our situation and will be notifying anyone involved in how to go about filing complaints and opinions. Together we can beat this! Join us!