Energy Security-Focused Senior Task Force Established

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PJM members voted Thursday to establish a senior task force to explore if and how fuel security attributes should be incorporated in PJM’s markets.

At the March 21 Markets & Reliability (MRC) meeting, Tim Horger, director – Energy Market Operations, provided an update on PJM’s fuel security initiative and presented a problem statement and issue charge that define the activities of the new senior task force.

The endorsed problem statement and issue charge was a compromise among multiple stakeholders and combines an initial package from PJM with an alternative package from various PJM sectors.

The senior task force will study the extreme scenarios in which performance of the PJM grid could be impacted by concerns over not just fuel security, but a wider definition that encompasses energy and resource security. “Resource” includes not just generators, but programs that reduce electricity demand, such as demand response and load shaving.

Specific fuel security concerns were outlined in a detailed report issued by PJM last year. The new group will also attempt to evaluate the risk of selected fuel/energy/resource scenarios occurring.

The task force will then determine whether or not operational or market changes are needed to bolster fuel/energy/resource security, and what those changes could potentially be. The group will convene by April and is expected to present initial findings and recommendations to the MRC by the end of September.

The compromise proposal states that the MRC will consider the recommendations in September and then determine the deadline for the group to complete the rest of its work.

A comprehensive explanation of the group’s activities is available in the group’s issue charge and problem statement, posted on the MRC page of pjm.com.

Energy Security Timeline

The latest stakeholder engagement is the second of three phases underway at PJM to study the security of energy as part of an ongoing drive to improve grid resilience.

Phase one culminated in the release of the Fuel Security Study in November 2018. In phase three – concurrent with phase two – PJM, with guidance from federal and state government agencies, is coordinating with impacted industries to further define fuel security assumptions and scenarios. PJM’s study of fuel security stress tested the grid under more than 300 scenarios. The findings show that the system can withstand an extended period of stress while remaining reliable and fuel-secure. There were combinations of extreme conditions under which the system could be subject to disruptions; any efforts on the fuel-security front would most likely target these scenarios.