PJM Interconnection, the nation’s largest electric grid operator, has released its summer forecast for electricity demand and says it has enough supply to meet summer electricity needs for the 65 million people it serves in 13 states and the District of Columbia.
According to the forecast, PJM is prepared to serve a forecasted summer peak demand for electricity of approximately 149,000 MW but has performed reliability studies at even higher loads – in excess of 157,000 MW. PJM has approximately 185,000 MW of installed generating capacity available to meet customer needs, with sufficient resources available in reserve to cover generation that is unexpectedly unavailable or for other unanticipated changes in demand.
“PJM understands the critical importance that electricity plays in the daily lives of the 65 million people in our footprint. We prepare for summer operations throughout the year, knowing electricity use is normally highest during this season,” said PJM President and CEO Manu Asthana. “Reliability is a primary focus for us.”
Last year’s peak demand was approximately 149,000 MW. While warm ocean waters suggest this year may be slightly warmer than 2021, PJM is expecting demand consistent with last summer. PJM’s all-time one-day highest power use was recorded in the summer of 2006 at 165,563 MW. One megawatt can power about 800 homes.
PJM’s coordination with its members is key to ensuring that power flows where and when it is needed. In preparation for summer, PJM has worked with transmission and generation owners throughout the spring to ensure that critical maintenance and system improvements were completed. To stay ahead of any fuel-related supply chain concerns, PJM continues to conduct fuel inventories every two weeks and monitor results for the generation fleet. Since the winter, the organization has seen coal inventories begin to replenish. “Predicting the demand for electricity helps PJM ensure that consumers have a reliable supply of power today and in the years ahead,” said Mike Bryson, Senior Vice President – Operations. “Load forecasting is something we do routinely, for both short- and long-term periods, to help ensure an adequate supply of power for reliable service at the most reasonable cost.”
A dedicated team of operators uses sophisticated technology to balance supply and demand and direct the power grid 24/7 from PJM’s control rooms. They prepare multiple potential scenarios that could be impacted by weather, emergency conditions or equipment failure. They adjust resource output with changes in demand and ensure that no transmission lines or facilities are overloaded. The team also watches for unusual conditions and reacts to them to protect the electricity supply.
Read more about how PJM forecasts electricity demand on the PJM Learning Center.