PJM 2022 Long-Term Load Forecast Predicts Slight Growth


PJM released its annual long-term forecast report Dec. 30 to show estimated load growth of 0.4% per year for summer peaks, 0.7% for winter peaks, and 0.8% for net energy over a 10-year planning horizon starting in 2022.

PJM’s independent load forecast was derived using improved modeling techniques to estimate upcoming peak and energy usage trends. In the 2022 Load Forecast Supplement, PJM describes significant revisions to the load forecast model to better capture granularity in sector models and response to summer and winter weather.

The load forecast process and variables include residential, commercial and industrial load; weather- and non-weather-sensitive load; plug-in electric vehicles; behind-the-meter solar generation; zone-level estimates and more.

Summer Peak Estimates

The forecast estimates summer peak load growth to average 0.4% per year for the next decade and 0.4% per year over 15 years. Those estimated rates are expected to result in an RTO-wide summer peak of approximately 154,000 MW in 2032 and 158,000 MW in 2037.

The 2022 summer’s upcoming peak is forecast at approximately 149,000 MW. PJM’s record summer peak took place in 2006 at 165,563 MW.

Winter Peak Estimates

PJM’s record-high winter peak measured 143,129 MW in February 2015. PJM estimates a winter peak of approximately 133,000 MW for winter 2022/2023.

In 10 years, modest annual 0.7% growth contributes to the projected 2032/33 winter peak of approximately 141,500 MW, continuing through 2037/38 to approximately 145,000 MW.

YearSummer PeakWinter PeakPJM RTO Total Energy
2022148,938 MW132,980 MW781,318 GWh
2032154,381 MW141,516 MW845,133 GWh
2037157,689 MW145,220 MW877,586 GWh

The Long-Term Forecast Process

This report presents an independent load forecast prepared by PJM staff. The load forecast process considers residential, commercial and industrial sectors, each with its own set of models and inputs, including input variables for end-use saturation and efficiency as well as for economic drivers. Insights from this process, combined with data on historical weather, are the starting point for determining peak and energy forecasts. PJM staff then makes adjustments based on forecast growth in behind-the-meter solar generation, battery storage and plug-in electric vehicles, and also considers information from electric distribution companies on non-modeled trends such as data centers.

New to the report this year are tables for the peak load impact of battery storage and for the net energy impact of plug-in electric vehicles.

Evolving Summer Peak & Energy Outlook

In comparison to last year’s long-term forecast, the 2022 estimate trims the summer peak forecast by approximately 1,028 MW (or -0.7%). The forecast estimate for the 2025 summer peak (the usual three-year-ahead capacity market auction year) declined by 763 MW (or -0.5%). By the summer peak of 2027, the next study year of the Regional Transmission Expansion Plan, the long-term forecast dipped by 0.2% or about 249 MW.

The total amount of energy consumed annually, or net energy, is expected to grow at an annual rate of 0.8% between 2022 and 2037. This estimate represents an increase from the 0.3% annual growth estimated in last year’s 15-year forecast for 2021–2036.