Asthana Discusses PJM’s Critical Role With Center City Proprietors Association

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PJM President and CEO Manu Asthana joined the Philadelphia-based Center City Proprietors Association May 12 to discuss PJM’s important role in providing reliable delivery of electricity in a changing energy landscape.

During the association’s “Lunch with City Leaders” series online session, Asthana discussed his background as a college student in Philadelphia, and the path that eventually brought him back to the region and to PJM.

Asthana said he joined PJM in January 2020, because he was looking to make an impact beyond the organization he was in and believed PJM made that impact.

“What our organization does makes a difference,” he said. “It makes a real difference.”

Asthana also discussed the challenges of operating reliably at the lowest reasonable cost amid an evolving energy sector, a global pandemic and challenging weather events, such as the damaging Texas February cold snap.

Asthana noted that an outage of the magnitude that Texas experienced is much less likely in PJM, because PJM is interconnected with the Eastern Interconnection system, which stretches from the Rocky Mountains to Canada, has ample reserves available, and has a disciplined generator community focused on winterizing their facilities.

PJM is also looking to future weather trends and patterns to prepare for extreme events.

“We’re constantly asking ourselves, what are the events we should plan for?” Asthana said.

The Center City Proprietors Association is a nonprofit, Philadelphia-based, member-supported chamber of commerce founded in 1978. It is dedicated to serving businesses by providing connections, insight, resources and community through a variety of programs and events.