Friday, September 9, 2016

NJ utility backs off plan to create transmission subsidiary


Utility indicates no way to resolve outstanding issues and meet January 2017 time frame to begin investing in new entity

Tom Johnson reports for NJ Spotlight:

Jersey Central Power & Light is giving up its fight to transfer its transmission assets to a new company — at least for now.
In a brief letter to the Board of Public Utilities, the state’s second-largest electric utility notified the agency it is withdrawing its petition, although it may consider resubmitting it in a different form in the future.
The proposal, already rejected once by the BPU, generated opposition from consumer advocates, and more recently, local groups opposed to a new transmission project proposed by JCP&L along the North Jersey Coast Line in Monmouth County.
FirstEnergy Corp, the parent of the utility, previously had won approval to create the new entity, dubbed the Mid-Atlantic Interstate Transmission Co., from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.
The company had hoped to begin investing in the new transmission company by January 1, 2017. “However, at this juncture, nearly 15 months after the original petition was filed, there appears to be no prospect of resolving this matter in New Jersey to accommodate the above time-frame,’’ the utility’s lawyer wrote the BPU in withdrawing its plan.
In denying the original petition, the state agency said a purely transmission company did not meet the state’s definition of a public utility because it did not include any distribution assets — the poles and wires delivering power to homes and businesses.

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