American Electric Power (AEP) has filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the PJM Interconnection (PJM) to build a new $3 billion, 765 kV transmission line stretching from West Virginia to New Jersey.

The proposed transmission ‘superhighway’ will span approximately 880 km and is designed to reduce PJM congestion costs by substantially improving west-east transfer capability by approximately 5,000 MW and reducing transmission line losses by approximately 280 MW. It will also enhance reliability in the eastern transmission grid, the company says.

“We must move forward and address the current inadequacies of our nation’s existing transmission infrastructure. Congress and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission have identified that investment in transmission is crucial to ensure the reliability of the electricity grid and the growth potential of our economy,” said Michael G. Morris, AEP’s chairman, president and chief executive officer. “In 2004, PJM transmission congestion costs totalled approximately $800 million, and in 2005, congestion costs are expected to exceed $1 billion,” Morris added.

The so-called AEP Interstate Project would begin at the Amos transmission station in Putnam County, West Virginia, connect through Doubs Station in Frederick County, Maryland, and terminate at the Deans Station in Middlesex County, New Jersey.

A new AEP subsidiary, AEP Transmission Co, will own the line and undertake construction of the project which has an anticipated in-service date of 2014 assuming three years to site and acquire rights-of-way and five years to build the line.