PJM Prepared to Serve Summer Electricity Demand

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PJM is ready to meet demand for a summer predicted to be hotter than usual, keeping air conditioners, fans and refrigerators running in 13 states and the District of Columbia.

Planners at PJM expect electricity use to peak at around 151,000 MW this summer, when the National Weather Service is forecasting above-average temperatures for almost all of the PJM footprint, home to 65 million people from the Mid-Atlantic states to parts of the South and Midwest.

“The summer is when we see our highest electricity use, and we plan and prepare for summer operations throughout the year,” said Andy Ott, PJM president and CEO. “With proper forecasting, experienced operators and healthy reserves, we are confident we will meet the level of demand.”

Last summer’s peak demand was 150,830 MW, which occurred on Aug. 28. PJM’s all-time highest power use was 165,563 MW in the summer of 2006. One megawatt can power about 800 homes.

Ample Resources and Competitive Prices

PJM has ample resources available in reserve to cover generation that is unexpectedly unavailable or for demand that is higher than anticipated. PJM’s required reserve is 16 percent of the forecasted demand, and this summer PJM’s expected reserve margin is more than 28 percent, or around 40,000 MW. PJM has 183,454 MW of installed generating capacity available.

In 2019, PJM also has more than 8,000 MW of demand response available as a resource during peak usage times. Demand response pays customers to reduce their electricity use in times of system stress.

PJM meets electricity needs by procuring enough resources to satisfy peak demand plus its required reserves. Resources and energy are acquired through PJM’s competitive markets, which saves customers billions of dollars each year. PJM works with its members to ensure that power flows where it is needed and holds resources to strict standards to deliver electricity as promised.

What Happens in the PJM Control Rooms?

A dedicated team of expert dispatchers use sophisticated technology to balance supply and demand and direct the power grid 24/7 from PJM’s control rooms. They prepare for thousands of possible 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.

Learn more about who’s who in the control rooms in PJM’s new video.