PJM Seeks Additional Resources To Restart Electric System If Power Lost Across The Grid

New selection process for best mix of self-starting generators

Jul 02, 2013, 08:10 ET from PJM Interconnection

VALLEY FORGE, Pa., July 2, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- PJM Interconnection, the operator of the largest North American power grid, has launched a broad initiative to ensure the best mix of resources to restart the grid in the unlikely event that power would be lost across the entire system.

Restoring the system would require generators that can start up without an outside source of power and deliver electricity to the grid. It's known in the utility industry as black start service. These resources provide the initial power to the transmission system to restart other generators.

On Monday, PJM issued a request for proposals as part of its first five-year selection process for black start service. The 90-day market window for proposals will be open until September 30.

"The purpose of the RFP is to investigate other black start options beyond what we currently have in order to have the most effective balance of black start resources," said Michael J. Kormos, PJM executive vice president – Operations.

"We re-examined black start service and system restoration approaches in light of several developments such as new state and federal environmental regulations, which are causing the retirement of a significant number of existing black start generators. This RFP results from the new strategy developed by stakeholders, PJM and the independent market monitor working together for more than a year."

PJM will examine the proposals it receives and make selections based on needs, capability of units, location of units and cost. Existing black start generators are expected to continue providing black start service under their current commitment terms.

Additional information about the request for proposals for black start service is available at

PJM Interconnection, founded in 1927, ensures the reliability of the high-voltage electric power system serving 61 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 62,556 miles of transmission lines; administers a competitive wholesale electricity market; and plans regional transmission expansion improvements to maintain grid reliability and relieve congestion. Visit PJM at www.pjm.com.

SOURCE PJM Interconnection