PJM Influences Future of Energy with Advanced Technology Initiative

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In the words of Yogi Berra, “The future ain’t what it used to be.”

Just as the natural gas boom wasn’t foreseen back in the 1970s – when the fuel’s scarcity led Congress to ban the construction of new gas-fired plants – the future of the energy industry is yet to be determined.

PJM is positioned to be part of that evolution, encouraging innovation to enhance its mission of maintaining a reliable bulk power grid at the lowest cost possible.

PJM’s Advanced Technology Initiative provides opportunities for PJM staff, members, research and academic institutions, and industry experts to advance power grid operations and wholesale electricity markets.

PJM supports innovation in-house, in partnerships and through its Advanced Technology Pilot Program.

PJM currently is focused on a number of initiatives.

Dispatch Interactive Map Application

PJM dispatchers have a new, powerful tool at their disposal: the Dispatch Interactive Map Application or DIMA.

DIMA consolidates important information about grid operations – including weather, gas pipelines and electricity demand – into a single display, enabling dispatchers to quickly identify and address potential problems.

Blockchain

This collaboration aims to develop an open-source toolkit to provide greater access to renewable energy markets, including for small buyers and sellers.

The pilot is a project of PJM Environmental Information Services, a subsidiary of PJM, and the global nonprofit Energy Web Foundation.

Dynamic Line Rating

Every transmission line is designed with a default rating that doesn’t change very often. Dynamic Line Rating (DLR) technology uses advanced sensors and software to monitor real-time conductor temperature along a transmission line.

DLR technology can identify additional capacity that could potentially relieve congestion. A one-year assessment of a hypothetical installation on one of PJM’s most congested lines indicates the technology could reduce system congestion payments by more than $4 million.

Transmission System Planning for Resilience

PJM and transmission owner Dominion Virginia Power are developing an assessment of what would happen to the system should a significant disruption of many pieces of equipment occur at once.

Called “cascading trees,” the new methodology looks to identify the probability and consequence of cascading outages in electric systems – because the best way to protect a critical substation is not to have one.

Syncrophasors

PJM is developing advanced applications of synchrophasor technology to improve the efficiency, reliability and resilience of the power system.

Syncrophasors provide data at a higher resolution and reporting frequency than traditional data acquisition systems, painting a more detailed picture of the grid at any given moment.

Energy Storage

PJM has worked with various companies and national laboratories to advance the use of energy storage, which can help grid operators keep the power supply stable when variable resource output is unavailable.

These initiatives and more build on PJM’s history of innovation and reflect its commitment to community collaboration and enhancing the reliability and cost-effectiveness of the bulk power system.