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New analyses show PATH project may not be needed

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The regional grid operator for West Virginia and 12 other states says there may no longer be a need for the Potomac-Appalachian Transmission Highline.

The State Journal says analyses by PJM Interconnection may not support construction of the $2 billion transmission line from West Virginia to Maryland.

PATH was proposed in 2007 to address predicted problems with grid reliability but was suspended last year. PJM spokesman Ray Dotter says testing no longer shows voltage flow problems in the mid-Atlantic.

Other conditions have changed, too. The economy has slowed, and more generation has become available. More large users have also committed to curtailing power use during peak periods.

Dotter says planning staff will make recommendations to the board that will decide whether PATH continues. A decision should come this fall.