Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Delmarva’s Electric Power Needs
I was contemplating why there was such concern for the few people on this new DC transmission line that is to come across the Chesapeake Bay into shores of Dorchester County that then continues to Vienna. I took note to review the existing transmission lines that already run to and from the Vienna area. There are already seven transmission lines that range from 69kV to 230kV. How could anyone notice this new transmission line when there are already so many to blend in with? The seven existing transmission lines have not ruined or devastated Dorchester County’s natural beauty, ruined farmland, or destroyed existing chicken houses. This has been the opposition’s allegations directed at MAPP that upon real review does not stand up to the charges.
Pepco has held four meetings around Dorchester in the past few weeks to quell the fears of the citizens, to get input, and pass on accurate information. Jonathan Travers Chronicles has been passing on information for the last couple of months to educate the citizens of not only Dorchester County, but Delmarva in general.
Upon the completion of the meetings, the Vice President of Delmarva Power, John J. Allen Jr., noted feedback from the citizens in general has been, "Most people are pretty neutral about it." After the meetings Mr. Allen was approached by many attending saying that they would be happy with a line that was hidden in the woods.
I myself have noted the same feedback from those whom I have spoken with and explained the reasons for the need of MAPP. Given the choice of potential rolling blackouts by 2011, or worst, a catastrophic electrical failure on the infrastructure grid from overloads; compared to the addition of one more transmission line going to Vienna; people understand the choice for the need of MAPP to be built.
The Public Service Commission report released last December warned that the Delmarva Peninsula could experience rolling blackouts as early as 2011 to helped people understand the reason for MAPP’s conception. MAPP was not thought up as a means to ruin people’s lives. The Delmarva Peninsula is in dire need to address this situation of lost generation supply. As Marynan Spear, a Vienna resident, stated, "If you need it, you need it."
Well I can’t say it any better than that. Adding transmission lines is essential to keeping power running and people’s lights on. The Eastern Shore lacks a strong transmission system to get power here and we need to firm up the electrical grid system. The single source coming from the Wilmington / Philadelphia area is not the answer as this is the main problem now. Diversification of several sources like transmission runs coming across the Delaware Bay from New Jersey, coming from Calvert Cliffs across the Chesapeake Bay, and down from the north of the Peninsula is the way to address the need.
Finaly, and this may not be the case for Dorchester County because we have slated “NO GROWTH” as our county’s comprehensive plan, but demand for energy on the rest of the Delmarva Peninsula is projected to increase 20 percent over the next 10 years.