PJM Describes Its Work on Reliability at FERC Technical Conference

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PJM planning, markets and operations practices are responding in step with the changing reliability and security needs of our increasingly decentralized and diversified grid, PJM’s Christopher Pilong said during the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Annual Reliability Technical Conference Sept. 30.

Pilong, Director – Operations Planning, was among 11 industry experts at the first panel, “Bulk-Power System Reliability and Security: Current State, Challenges, and Initiatives,” during the daylong 2021 Annual Reliability Conference.

North American Electric Reliability Corporation officials presented reliability and operations issues from NERC’s Annual State of Reliability Report and the 2021 Electric Reliability Organization Reliability Risk Priorities Report, followed by the panel discussion. Electric industry challenges identified by NERC include extreme weather, climate change, diversifying fuel mix, increasing cyber/physical threats and implications for grid operations, markets and planning.

To identify, prioritize, measure and respond effectively to emerging risk factors, PJM is taking action to preserve bulk electric system reliability and promote grid resilience, Pilong stated in his submitted statement. Besides pending PJM proposals before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in these areas, transparent collaboration with stakeholders and members continues to advance the most durable solutions, he added.

PJM’s existing tools include Capacity Performance standards in place since 2015. PJM also coordinates improved grid operator-gas pipeline communication protocols and conducts a Fuel Security Analysis annually to identify and act on extreme-weather risk factors. At the same time, PJM supports FERC efforts toward necessary industry standards, key metrics, and improved cross-sector coordination and communication.

With a keen eye for developing reliability strategies tuned to the operating characteristics of renewable resources and the needs of the changing grid, PJM and its stakeholders are collaborating on energy price formation and market integration of DER, storage and emerging technologies in accordance with FERC Order 2222. PJM is also hard at work offering independent planning analysis for many states in its footprint to maintain reliability and the efficient dispatch of power via scenarios specific to aggressive state-directed offshore wind implementation. Pilong also addressed PJM proposals pending before FERC to mandate or coordinate specific analysis, response strategies and industry communication to improve reliability. Industry standards and key metrics are indicated, he added, for the most robust planning, market mechanisms, coordination with interdependent systems, and operations restoration activities required by the grid of the future.