Jan. 5 cold weather report – update on Jan. 6


Updated – Jan. 6

PJM recorded a new high peak demand for the week (and year) Friday evening, Jan. 5. Demand for electricity reached 138,465 megawatts at 7 p.m. Friday.

Demand was higher than originally expected because temperatures and wind chill factors were lower than forecast, leading to increased demand. The original demand forecast was approximately 136,000 MW for the evening. Power supplies remained adequate.


Original report

As much of the PJM footprint experienced near-record low temperatures on Jan. 5, PJM’s preliminary peak demand for electricity was 136,206 megawatts Friday morning.

While it is not the RTO’s all-time winter peak, it is in the top 10 and the highest load for this current cold stretch.

PJM had no generation or transmission issues and no major issues with natural gas pipelines. All reserves were maintained. PJM expected a 133,000 MW peak demand for Friday night.

PJM has issued a Cold Weather Alert for the entire RTO and issued a Heavy Load Voltage Schedule Warning.

For the weekend, PJM forecasts nearly 130,000 MW for the peak Saturday afternoon.  

PJM does not expect any generation, transmission or gas pipeline concerns but has issued Cold Weather Alerts for the RTO through Sunday due to single-digit temperatures.

A Cold Weather Alert prepares personnel and facilities for expected extreme cold weather conditions, when actual temperatures are projected to fall near or below 10 degrees Fahrenheit.

PJM communicates with generator owners and tells them to be prepared to call in additional staff to get all generating units running for the morning load pickup. They must take extra care to maintain the equipment so that it doesn’t freeze in the cold weather.

For the weekend, temperatures will remain very cold across the footprint through Sunday morning.  The western zones will warm up on Sunday afternoon.

The anticipated peak demands:

  • Saturday, Jan. 6: 127,923 MW
  • Sunday, Jan. 7:    120,282 MW
  • Monday, Jan. 8:  114,420 MW

Update for Thursday, Jan. 4

The Thursday morning peak was 127,172 MW; the evening peak was 135,335 MW.

PJM had a Cold Weather Alert issued for the Western Region only and issued a Heavy Load Voltage Schedule Warning effective from 1 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. as a precautionary step to help maximize transfer capability across the transmission system. The RTO then issued a Heavy Load Voltage Schedule Action, effective from 5:05 p.m. (EST) to 6:15 p.m. The action requires maximum support of voltages on the bulk power system and increased reactive reserves on the 500-kV system.