PJM Holds Second Special MRC on Fuel Security

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PJM held the second in a series of special Markets & Reliability Committee meetings on its fuel security initiative on June 28, where the committee updated stakeholders on the Fuel Security Study approach and current status.

Mike Bryson, vice president – Operations, discussed the timeline of the study and possible subsequent actions. That includes how any potential Federal Energy Regulatory Commission filing would fit into the Base Residual Auction in May 2019, if a filing is necessary.

PJM plans three phases to the initiative. The first – analysis – will go through August and focus on identifying potential system vulnerabilities and defining fuel security.

The second – modeling and market design – will run through the end of the year; PJM will use the data from the first phase to develop a methodology to address any vulnerability identified, including in PJM’s markets. The third – ongoing coordination with state and federal entities – will take place concurrently, based on input from those parties.

Bryson said one of the most frequently asked questions is what the difference between capacity performance and fuel security is.

Capacity performance looks at an individual generating unit and its responsibility to perform when PJM asks it to perform. The capacity market includes incentives as well as obligations to ensure performance.  Fuel security considers the whole system, including, but not limited to, the upstream fuel delivery systems.

Capacity Performance is designed to ensure that resources are available during the peaks of the system. Fuel security considers potential disruptions that are not attributable to any single resource. It looks at the duration for system outage impacts caused by fuel delivery infrastructure disruptions.

Chantal Hendrzak, executive director – Market Evolution, reviewed coordination with industry groups, stakeholders, regulators and others to inform the study’s elements.

Eric Endress, senior engineer – Operation Analysis & Compliance, presented the different studies that PJM has reviewed. These include those done by ISO New England and the Brattle Group. Endress also provided a high-level review of stakeholder feedback received to date.

Daniel Bennett, senior engineer, also surveyed generators. He asked for data such as:

  • Fuel supply/delivery issues encountered during the cold snap
  • Pre-winter inventory and re-fueling strategies
  • Natural gas pipeline parameters that might potentially affect unit operations and operating pressures and details around switching to an alternate pipeline

PJM subject matter experts discussed the analysis approach and assumptions and fielded stakeholder questions.

Natalie Tacka, engineer – Applied Innovation, presented the analysis approach and operational assumptions, as well as objectives for the dispatch simulation portion of the analysis.

Brian Fitzpatrick, senior lead fuel supply analyst, and Marilyn Jayachandran, senior engineer – Transmission Operations, discussed approaches and assumptions related to natural gas supply disruption sensitivities and identified ongoing efforts to incorporate disruptions to other fuels.

Patricio Rocha Garrido, senior engineer – Resource Adequacy Planning, reviewed transmission analysis, using the latest winter Regional Transmission Expansion Plan base case, N-1 conditions, and thermal/voltage and impact scenarios on transfer limits across PJM.

Tom Falin, director – Resource Adequacy Planning, reviewed load scenarios, including historic cold snaps and extreme winter weather evaluation.

PJM will continue to meet with stakeholders, federal agencies and industry groups to refine its assumptions. The next special MRC will be July 26, after the regularly scheduled MRC.