VALLEY FORGE, Pa., May 2, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- PJM Interconnection, the operator of the nation's largest electricity grid, is ready to meet demand during a summer predicted to be hotter than usual, keeping air conditioners, fans and refrigerators running in 13 states and the District of Columbia.
Planners at PJM expect electricity use to peak at around 151,000 MW this summer, when the National Weather Service is forecasting above-average temperatures for almost the entire PJM footprint, home to 65 million people from the Mid-Atlantic states to parts of the South and Midwest.
"The summer is when we see our highest electricity use, and we plan and prepare for summer operations throughout the year," said Andrew L. Ott, PJM president and CEO. "With proper forecasting, experienced operators and healthy reserves, we are confident we will meet the level of demand."
Last summer's peak demand was 150,830 MW, which occurred on August 28. PJM's all-time highest power use was 165,563 MW in the summer of 2006. One megawatt can power about 800 homes.
PJM has ample resources available in reserve to cover generation that is unexpectedly unavailable or for demand that is higher than anticipated. PJM's required reserve is 16 percent of the forecasted demand level, and this summer PJM's expected reserve margin is more than 28 percent, or around 40,000 MW. PJM has 183,454 MW of installed generating capacity available.
In 2019, PJM also has more than 8,000 MW of demand response available as a resource during peak usage times. Demand response pays customers to reduce their electricity use in times of system stress.
PJM meets electricity needs by procuring enough resources to satisfy peak demand plus its required reserves. Resources and energy are acquired through PJM's competitive markets, which saves customers billions of dollars each year. PJM works with its members to ensure that power flows where it is needed and holds resources to strict standards to deliver electricity as promised.
A dedicated team of expert dispatchers use sophisticated technology to balance supply and demand and direct the power grid 24/7 from PJM's control rooms. They prepare for thousands of possible scenarios that could be impacted by weather, emergency conditions or equipment failure. They adjust resource output with changes in demand and ensure that no transmission lines or facilities are overloaded. The team also watches for unusual conditions and reacts to them to protect the electricity supply. Learn more about who's who in the PJM control rooms in a new video.
PJM Interconnection, founded in 1927, ensures the reliability of the high-voltage electric power system serving 65 million people in all or parts of Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. PJM coordinates and directs the operation of the region's transmission grid, which includes over 84,042 miles of transmission lines; administers a competitive wholesale electricity market; and plans regional transmission expansion improvements to maintain grid reliability and relieve congestion. PJM's regional grid and market operations produce annual savings of $2.8 billion to $3.1 billion. For the latest news about PJM, visit PJM Inside Lines at insidelines.pjm.com.
SOURCE PJM Interconnection