Representatives of BGE met with members of the Valleys Planning Council and Hanover Road Association on August 10, 2011 at the Pearlstone Center in Reisterstown. BGE gave a power point presentation that reviewed the status of the proposed substation. At this time, BGE is still operating under the assumption that action is needed to address reliability issues identified by the regional entity PJM by 2015. PJM’s forecasts show the potential for reliability problems starting in that year unless steps are taken to relieve pressures on the 500-kV and 230-kV lines running between the Conastone Substation in Harford County and the Northwest Substation in Reisterstown (Baltimore County). BGE determined that a regional substation that could bring a spur of  the 500-kV power line into Northwest without going all the way north to Conastone and back down to Reisterstown, was the best solution. The new substation proposed would be located on the 90-acre former Camp Holiday site on Kemp Road and contain both a 500-kV yard and a 230-kV yard. The VPC, community groups and neighbors have expressed opposition to the Camp Holiday site due to its location within the Piney Run Rural Legacy Area.

BGE acknowledged that they have been working with the community to evaluate the availability and feasibility of an alternative site. Negotiations are underway with four property owners associated with this site. The alternative site is preferred because it is not within a Rural Legacy or historic area, has better access, is more convenient to rail access for equipment off-loading, and provides operational efficiencies because it is closer to the Northwest substation.

PJM is currently re-evaluating the need for a number of projects as well as the required in-service dates. Due to energy-saving programs, additional power generation, and economic conditions, data used by PJM in the demand models needs to be updated to accurately reflect current conditions. Two major projects in the region have been put on hold as a result of revised figures. The re-evaluation of this project by PJM will be completed sometime in September and could result in an expanded timeframe or possibly even point to other possible solutions or scenarios.

In the meantime, BGE is proceeding with the county review process for the Camp Holiday site. They expect to submit a development plan sometime this month, then a community input meeting will be scheduled, followed by a hearing before a county Administrative Law Judge. The hearing will determine whether a special exception is approved to  allow the substation as a use in RC2.

If negotiations on the alternative site go well, BGE could withdraw the Camp Holiday plan and, instead, begin planning for the alternative site. The VPC and Hanover Road Association continue to work cooperatively with BGE on a preferred solution.