Jan. 12 Cold Weather Update: Updated Load Forecast Issued for Holiday Weekend

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As significantly cold weather approaches the PJM region over the coming holiday weekend, PJM is providing its updated peak load forecast for Sunday, Jan. 14, through Wednesday, Jan. 17, when single-digit temperatures will move across portions of PJM’s Western Region. PJM will continue to monitor and update the forecast as system conditions develop.

  • Sunday, Jan. 14 – 115,412 MW
  • Monday, Jan. 15 – 124,595 MW
  • Tuesday, Jan. 16 – 129,310 MW
  • Wednesday, Jan. 17 – 132,973 MW

Load forecasts can be viewed on the PJM Now application, PJM Data Viewer (72 hours) and PJM Data Miner (7 days).

In light of the weather and pipeline fuel restrictions reported by gas pipeline operators, PJM will be in Conservative Operations for the full day Saturday, Jan. 13, through all of Wednesday, Jan. 17.

When PJM declares Conservative Operations, system operators have more flexibility to make decisions to maintain reliability. No action is requested of the public. For example, when Conservative Operations is declared, PJM Dispatch reviews and considers recalling or canceling noncritical planned generation and transmission maintenance outages and may reduce transfers of electricity into, across or through the PJM system. These and other potential actions can be taken to increase reserves and reduce power flows on selected facilities.

On Thursday, Jan. 11, PJM issued a Cold Weather Alert for its Western Region for Jan. 14–17 in advance of an expected cold front in that area.

PJM normally issues this alert when actual temperatures are projected to fall near or below 10 degrees Fahrenheit. However, PJM can also issue this alert if high winds are forecast or if a portion of gas-fired units may be unavailable due to potential gas procurement issues.

When this alert is issued, PJM communicates with generator owners to tell them to be prepared to call in additional staff to get all generating units running for when electricity use begins to increase in the morning. Generator owners must take extra care to maintain equipment so that it doesn’t freeze in the cold and are reminded to provide updated information to PJM on limitations to their units, including time required to start and the maximum and minimum times that their units can run once started.

Keeping PJM informed of changing generator conditions, particularly as natural gas pipelines may become constrained as the cold spell progresses, is particularly important over the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday weekend. To assist in this effort, PJM and the Independent Market Monitor developed and published guidance for generators (PDF) on how best to provide timely and accurate information about their operating parameters and availability during periods of natural gas pipeline operating restrictions.