PJM Declares Conservative Operations for Mid-Atlantic and Southern Regions Jan. 29 Ahead of Winter Storm

Cold Weather Alert Also Issued for PJM’s Western Region


PJM has declared Conservative Operations for its Mid-Atlantic and Southern Regions Jan. 29 ahead of a major winter storm expected to impact the East Coast.

Declaring Conservative Operations gives PJM dispatchers more flexibility with system operations in response to the varied winter storm conditions anticipated throughout the PJM footprint. Forecasts call for potential blizzard conditions, including high winds and possible icing, for portions of PJM’s Mid-Atlantic and Southern Regions.

The Mid-Atlantic Region is made up of the following transmission zones and control areas:

  • Atlantic City Electric
  • Baltimore Gas and Electric
  • Delmarva Power & Light
  • Jersey Central Power & Light
  • Met-Ed
  • Penelec
  • PECO Energy
  • Pepco
  • PPL Electric Utilities
  • PSE&G
  • Orange & Rockland (Rockland Electric Company)

The Southern Region consists of Dominion Virginia Power’s service area.

What Happens During Conservative Operations

The need to operate the PJM system more conservatively can be triggered by any number of weather, environmental, physical or cybersecurity events.

During Conservative Operations, system operators have more flexibility to make decisions to maintain reliability. For example, PJM Dispatch reviews and considers recalling or canceling non-critical generation and transmission maintenance outages and may reduce transfers 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.

PJM’s last Conservative Operations declaration occurred in December 2020 in response to another winter storm.

Cold Weather Alert Issued for PJM’s Western Region

PJM has also issued a Cold Weather Alert for its Western Region for Jan. 29.

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

A previous Cold Weather Alert for the Western Region expired at 10 a.m. Jan. 27. The preliminary estimated demand for electricity use in PJM on Jan. 27 peaked at nearly 130,000 MW.

The Western Region in PJM is made up of the following transmission zones and control areas:

  • American Electric Power (AEP Ohio, Appalachian Power, Indiana Michigan Power and Kentucky Power)
  • American Municipal Power Transmission
  • ComEd
  • Cleveland Public Power
  • Dayton Power & Light
  • Duke Energy Ohio and Duke Energy Kentucky
  • Duquesne Light Company
  • East Kentucky Power Cooperative
  • FirstEnergy South – former Allegheny Power Systems (West Penn Power, Mon Power, Potomac Edison)
  • FirstEnergy West – former American Transmission Systems, Inc. (Penn Power, Ohio Edison, The Illuminating Company and Toledo Edison)
  • ITC Interconnection, LLC
  • Ohio Valley Electric Corporation

Transmission and generation owners must take extra care to maintain equipment, so that it does not freeze. During a Cold Weather Alert, PJM may also cancel or postpone planned maintenance outages in order to ensure availability of sufficient resources.

PJM expects to have over 185,000[1] MW of resources to meet a forecast winter peak demand of approximately 133,000 MW. PJM’s all-time winter peak is 143,295 MW, set on Feb. 20, 2015.

Read more about how PJM and its members have prepared to meet the forecasted demand for electricity this winter, employing lessons learned from recent extreme weather events while also accounting for recent fuel supply concerns.

Learn more about how PJM prepares for winter conditions on the PJM Learning Center. Track grid conditions in real time with the PJM Now app on iOS and Android.

[1] 169,682 MW of these generation resources are committed capacity resources.