Load Analysis Subcommittee Looks at Preliminary 2019 Load Forecast

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  • Low load growth trend continues
  • Distributed solar and energy efficiency have grown
  • No emergency demand response resources deployed over the summer

The Load Analysis Subcommittee got a look at the PJM Preliminary 2019 Load Forecast at its Tuesday meeting before the report heads to the Planning Committee on Dec. 13.

The forecast continues to reflect a trend of low load growth across the region.

However, with distributed solar and energy efficiency already having ramped up over the past decade, those factors aren’t expected to slow load growth as much as in past years, said Andrew Gledhill, senior analyst – Resource Adequacy Planning.

At the same time, higher efficiency in commercial ventilation and lighting, along with increased residential fuel-switching from electric to natural gas appliances, will weigh on long-term growth, Gledhill said.

To develop the forecast, PJM used an estimation period of January 1998 through August 2018. It ran 325 weather scenarios simulating conditions from 1993 to 2017. PJM uses the median value.

PJM incorporated solar addbacks or estimates of behind-the-meter solar generation, from AWS Truepower data and a capacity additions forecast from IHS in the solar forecast.

Forecast adjustments were made for various factors to the APS, BGE, COMED and Dominion zones.

PJM looked at years 2022 (the next Reliability Pricing Model Base Residual Auction year) and 2024 (the next Regional Transmission Expansion Plan study year) as sample forecast years. It also factored in the effect of the addition of the Ohio Valley Electric Corporation (OVEC), which joins PJM on Dec. 1.

The preliminary RTO summer forecast for the 2022 comparison year is down 0.4 percent compared with the 2018 forecast; for the 2024 comparison year, that number is down 0.5 percent. The analogous numbers for the 2022/2023 and 2024/2025 winter comparison years are both down 0.4 percent.

The subcommittee also reviewed the summer 2018 loads and how they compared to the 2018 load forecast report.

The RTO-wide peak load, at 150,454 MW on Aug. 28, was higher than during the milder summer of 2017, but less than the forecast 152,108 MW.

While the RTO as a whole peaked that day, no zones did. Also, while the system’s peak load usually occurs in July, this summer none of the top five RTO-wide peaks were in that month. Of the top five RTO-wide peaks, one occurred in June and two each in August and September.

PJM’s all-time peak occurred on Aug. 2, 2006, at 166,876 MW.

Joe Tutino, engineer – Resource Adequacy Planning, said no emergency demand response resources were deployed during the summer.

The subcommittee also heard reports and updates on: