For any person to build a power plant or transmission line greater than 69 kV in Maryland, a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) must be obtained from the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC). As part of this licensing process, applicants must address a full range of environmental, engineering, socioeconomic, planning, and cost issues.

The Power Plant Siting Act of 1971, augmented by the Electric Utility Industry Restructuring Act of 1999, provides for a consolidated review of CPCN applications in Maryland. The Power Plant Research Program (PPRP) is responsible for managing that review and bringing to the PSC a consolidated set of licensing recommendations.

This is the only process within the State regulatory framework that allows a comprehensive review of all electric power issues, with the goal of balancing the tradeoffs required to provide needed electrical power at reasonable cost while protecting the State’s valuable natural resources.

As part of the review, PPRP:

  • Analyzes the need for new generating or transmission capacity, taking into account the cost issues and the conservation alternatives available to reduce electricity demand.
  • Consolidates issue analysis involving the Departments of Natural Resources, Environment, Agriculture, Business and Employment Development, and Transportation, the Office of Planning, and the Energy Administration. PPRP usually represents those agencies in the PSC hearing process.
  • Evaluates potential impacts of the proposed facility on environmental resources, including air, surface and ground water, terrestrial resources, and cultural and historic resources, while assessing overall site suitability. 
  • Manages the development of a consolidated set of recommendations to be included as conditions within the CPCN.

Want to Learn More About CPV St. Charles?