OC OKs human performance component for dispatcher training

In the electric utility industry, human performance goes hand-in-hand with operational excellence as it relates to operations and control room personnel. And, like most organizations, PJM looks to constantly improve performance.

PJM’s goal is to improve the reliability of the bulk electric system through analysis of system events and the development and implementation of Human Performance tools, according to Maureen Curley, PJM senior trainer.

At the Feb. 6 Operating Committee meeting, stakeholders approved by acclamation without objections or abstentions changes to the Dispatcher Training Subcommittee charter to include human performance as a regular discussion topic.

The charter changes allow PJM and members to discuss human performance-related issues and ideas, within the stakeholder structure. These include sharing lessons learned and best practices, evaluating PJM’s model and analyzing human performance training needs and topics.

Both the North American Electric Reliability Corporation and ReliabilityFirst have shown increased interest in this area in recent years.

PJM and member company representatives participate in a Human Performance conference that NERC facilitates every year, and PJM has incorporated it into its training programs.

Human performance covers a broad range, dealing with all of the underlying factors that influence human behavior, and PJM has done a great deal of work in this area over the last few years.

The model that PJM and its members currently use was developed in partnership with the airline industry.  That model includes tools such as situational awareness, planning and decision-making, workload management, monitoring and cross-checking, communication, and leadership effectiveness.

PJM seeks to capitalize on the synergies between human performance and operator training to incorporate Human Performance in the scope of the Dispatcher Training Subcommittee and in the scope of the annual system operator seminar.

The Dispatcher Training Subcommittee promotes and enhances the reliability of high quality system-wide training programs for bulk power system operators and operating support personnel within the PJM system.

Other Operating Committee Business 

PJM reminded stakeholders about participation in the special session of the Operating Committee for the RTO-wide request for proposal for black start resources. PJM updates its black start request every five years to align with NERC requirements.

Ken Seiler, executive director – System Operations, noted some load statistics related to the Feb. 4 Super Bowl, where the Philadelphia Eagles defeated the New England Patriots, 41–33.

He said there was approximately a 750 megawatt jump in load just prior to the start of the game, with a halftime jump of about 750 MW. There was a 200 MW jump shortly after halftime and 500 MW increase again in load at the end of game. He said the numbers were very common for these types of events, especially with the close game.

Beginning in March, Dave Souder, director – Operations Planning, will take over as OC meeting facilitator, as Seiler becomes chair of the Planning Committee.

First Readings (Manual changes)

  • Manual 01: Control Center and Data Exchange Requirements
  • Manual 3A: Energy Management System Model Updates and Quality Assurance
  • Manual 37: Reliability Coordination

Subcommittee/Task Force Reviews and Updates

Tool and Informational Updates