OC Hears Benefits of Scheduling Tools

The Polar Vortex is long gone but the lessons learned still resonate for PJM, as members of the Operating Committee found out at the Aug. 9 meeting.

PJM used tools that it had developed in the wake of the Polar Vortex to help schedule generating units this summer to meet demand during the July heat wave. According to preliminary numbers, the highest demand over the heat wave was 151,882 MW during the afternoon of July 25, the 13th highest on record.

 Those tools help PJM better track generating units with long notification and start times. This helps to ensure reserve objectives are met.  It also more accurately tracks and updates unit-specific operating parameters to ensure more accurate accounting of generator capabilities and reserves. The result is a significant reduction in balancing operating reserve payments and a more efficient market clearing solution.

Before the Polar Vortex, the available tools limited PJM’s ability to view long lead time capacity and did not provide simple mechanisms for generator owners to validate PJM’s reserve calculations at a unit-specific level, only fleet-wide.

In June 2014, PJM developed a new “long lead” tool that consolidates the load forecast, appropriate and consistent safety margins, and generator data. With this tool came a new procedure for scheduling generation that encompasses a seven-day look-ahead and updated reports.

PJM then rewrote the instantaneous reserve check tool, which validates unit reserves in real time. This led to better data from the members regarding unit capabilities, which then led to more accurate PJM reserve calculations, and ultimately more accurate results for the long lead tool.

The tools have saved on uplift, as well. PJM operators can increase the reserve requirement based on pre-defined higher forced outage rate tables for hot and cold conditions defined in PJM Manual 13: Emergency Operations. They also can estimate the amount of hydro available in drought conditions, or river restrictions and estimate peak interchange based on historical values.

The data refreshes every five minutes, which allows generation owners to review the PJM reserve calculation at all times.

In other business:

The OC endorsed the dissolution of the System Information Subcommittee. Any subcommittee work related to the Energy Management System moves to the Data Management Subcommittee, while the remainder will move to the new Tech Change Forum. The committee also endorsed changes to the Data Management Subcommittee charter to incorporate the new activities.

The OC also endorsed:

  • Manual 37: Reliability Coordination (periodic review)
  • Manual 12: Balancing Operations (administrative and conforming updates)
  • Manual 14D: Generator Operational Requirements (updates to the unit cold weather testing process and the criteria clarification)