As Cold Weather Moves Across Footprint, PJM Presents Winter Readiness to OC

With a nod to the below-freezing temperatures currently sweeping through much of its footprint, PJM previewed its system operations assessment for the upcoming winter season at the Operating Committee meeting on Dec. 13.

For the winter, PJM expects to have 183,665 megawatts of electric capacity resources available to meet the forecasted peak demand of 135,548 MW. More than half of resources are committed through Capacity Performance. This is the first winter when the new stricter requirements of the Capacity Performance market model apply to some resources.

Last winter, 2015/16, was mild, which kept the winter loads moderate.  The 2016 winter peak was 130,680 MW on Jan. 19, 2016. PJM’s all-time winter peak is 143,295 MW, which was set on Feb. 20, 2015.

Since the January 2014 Polar Vortex, more than 17,000 MW of new natural gas capacity has been committed to PJM.

PJM conducted a winter preparation drill with its members, examining contingencies that could impact reliability, including external system issues, temperature extremes and fuel storage conditions.

To prepare, PJM studied “worst case” scenarios, including loss of local distribution company generation and gas pipeline failures (including those that resulted in 1,000 MW or more of generation loss).

PJM also worked with generation owners on cold weather preparedness, a fuel inventory survey and held a drill for emergency procedures and resource testing.

The gas electric team has worked with pipelines and local distribution companies to improve communications processes. Throughout the winter, the team will focus on natural gas delivery data and operational information that allows dispatch to make better-informed decisions. The communication and coordination between the natural gas and electric industries continues throughout the year, daily throughout the winter season.

PJM also announced that it will have new equipment in-service by the end of December to help fortify operations with 2,800 MW of additional generation (since summer 2016). Transmission upgrades have been added on the Baltimore Gas & Electric, Dominion, ComEd and AEP systems.

PJM issued a news release on its winter readiness on Dec. 14.