PJM Issues 2015 Winter Report

PJM has issued its report on the winter of 2015 and how extreme cold weather conditions in January and February affected the PJM Interconnection footprint.

The report examines the effects of the weather load, generator performance, natural gas availability, market outcomes, reserves and transmission outages.

Low temperatures and associated high electricity demand for heating needs struck the PJM footprint in February 2015. PJM set a new wintertime peak demand record of 143,086 megawatts the morning of Feb. 20, surpassed the previous record of 142,863 MW set Jan. 7, 2014. Some of the individual transmission zones within the PJM footprint also set all-time record winter peaks.

The report notes that many recommendations identified after the winter of 2014 were implemented in whole or in part for the winter of 2015 and had a positive impact on operations and market outcomes.

These implemented recommendations identified from winter 2014 included:

  • pre-winter operational testing for dual-fuel and infrequently run units
  • a winter-preparation checklist program
  • better communication of fuel status
  • increased coordination with natural gas pipelines

A total of 168 units (9,919 MW) participated in the pre-winter operational testing. Units that participated in the testing had a lower rate of forced outages compared to those that did not.

Generation outage rates remained above historical norms in the winter of 2015. PJM continues to see the need for sustained incentives to improve generation performance, particularly during peak winter demand periods. To that end, PJM has identified areas for continued improvement. These include:

  • Continue with the implementation of the Capacity Performance proposal to address resource performance incentives on a sustained basis
  • Coordination between the gas and electric industries
  • The ability for generators to communicate operational parameters to PJM
  • Build upon the success of the cold weather unit exercise and preparation checklist to improve the value while balancing the costs
  • Investigate methods and procedures for reducing the amount of uplift to be paid