US-based regional transmission organization (RTO) PJM Interconnection has approved a budget of $1.5bn to improve electric transmission infrastructure in its 13-state and Washington, D.C. region.

The RTO has authorized funding for various large and mid-size projects to provide better power supply for around 65 million consumers in these areas.

The largest project will replace the aging infrastructure in Burlington, Mercer and Middlesex counties in New Jersey, in addition to reconstructing of portions of existing transmission lines.

Equipment will be replaced in the north New Jersey project in PSE&G, while some of the transmission facilities must be replaced, as they are more than 80 years old.

PJM Board sanctioned a three-part project to reconstruct and upgrade to 230kV, the 138kV lines in the Metuchen-Edison-Trenton-Burlington corridor.

The board has also approved multiple projects that range from replacing transformers to upgrading circuits to rebuilding line segments.

These projects are located in the areas ruled by Metropolitan Edison, PP&L, PSE&G, AEP, Dominion, and Duke Energy Ohio and Kentucky.

PJM Interconnection president and CEO Andrew Ott said: "The growing need to replace aging infrastructure, energy efficiency and the resulting reduction in the growth of demand for electricity are affecting transmission development.

"Our job is to make sure that the infrastructure all of us count on is sound and delivering power in the safest and most efficient way.”

Since 2000, the RTO had authorized around $30.8bn in transmission additions and upgrades in its regional transmission expansion plan.

PJM operates high-voltage electric power system in Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.