UPDATE Dec. 23, 12:07 p.m.: PJM has expanded its Cold Weather Alert to include the entire RTO footprint for Dec. 24 and Dec. 25.
The alert follows a Cold Weather Advisory through Dec. 26 and a Cold Weather Alert for PJM’s Western Region that started Dec. 23.
A Cold Weather Alert prepares personnel and facilities for expected extreme cold weather conditions when actual temperatures fall near or below 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures across PJM’s Western Region are expected to be in the single digits through the weekend and slightly higher through the rest of the 13-state footprint, with high winds and some snow in the Midwestern states.
The Cold Weather Advisory is a new operations procedure implemented in October 2022 that PJM may issue two to five days prior to unusually cold weather.
Transmission and generation owners must take extra care to maintain equipment, so that it does not freeze. During a Cold Weather Alert, PJM may also cancel or postpone planned maintenance outages in order to ensure availability of sufficient resources.
With a Cold Weather Advisory, PJM and members prepare for possible severe conditions. This includes:
- Implementing physical protection against the cold, including wind breaks or shelters around equipment, temporary heaters and other actions
- Notifying PJM of any changes caused by cold weather to availability of generation, fuel inventories, fuel switching capability or other constraints
PJM is expecting evening peaks on Dec. 24 of around 125,000 MW and 119,000 on Dec. 25. PJM’s all-time winter peak was 143,295 MW, set on Feb. 20, 2015.
Preparing for Winter Weather
Each year, PJM performs winter readiness assessments in advance of the cold weather months. These assessments include data collection on fuel inventory, supply and delivery characteristics, emissions limitations, and minimum operating temperatures. PJM meets with federal and state regulators and neighboring systems to review winter preparations. PJM also conducts weekly operational review meetings with major natural gas pipeline operators serving generators in the PJM footprint to coordinate operations with the pipelines that supply a large portion of the gas generation fleet. PJM analyzes the expected demand for electricity, weather predictions and other factors to develop its forecast for winter operations. PJM’s ongoing Cold Weather Preparation Guideline and Checklist for