PJM Publishes Annual Planning Report for 2023

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PJM has published the 2023 edition of its Regional Transmission Expansion Plan Report, which highlights the transmission projects approved by the PJM Board of Managers throughout 2023 and PJM’s ongoing planning efforts.

PJM’s Regional Transmission Expansion Plan (RTEP) process identifies transmission system additions and improvements needed for reliable grid operations now and in the future for the 65 million people in the PJM footprint. The report, which is produced annually, notes how PJM and its stakeholders continue to work to identify challenges and develop solutions to maintain a reliable grid amid a historic energy transition marked by:

  • The retirement of large conventional steam-powered generators and an increase in interconnection requests from renewable resources whose operating characteristics differ from retiring generation
  • The proliferation of new data centers, creating major pockets of significant, increasing demand
  • The electrification of the transportation, industrial and building sectors

Baseline and Network Upgrades

PJM’s 2023 RTEP process continued to yield grid enhancements to maintain the reliable delivery of electricity under a historic generation shift:

  • The PJM Board approved 48 new baseline projects during 2023 to ensure that fundamental system reliability criteria across the grid are met.
  • The Board also approved 93 new network transmission projects to enable the reliable delivery of generation seeking interconnection into PJM markets.

In particular, the Board approved a baseline project of over $5 billion to address reliability violations identified in the 2022 RTEP Window 3 to account for data center-driven load growth and retiring generation.

Ongoing Capacity Mix Changes

In 2023, renewable resources continued to represent a significant portion of New Services Requests. Solar-power resources totaled nearly 113,000 MW of Capacity Interconnection Rights (CIRs), or around 42%, of the nearly 266,000 MW of CIRs making up PJM’s New Services Requests.

Solar generation has overtaken natural gas in the makeup of PJM’s New Services Requests. Natural gas plants total nearly 65,000 MW of CIRs and constitute around 24% of requested generation interconnections.

Additionally, more than 42,000 MW of coal-fired generation has retired since 2011. Throughout 2023, PJM received deactivation notifications for 31 units totaling more than 5,800 MW.

State Agreement Approach

In 2023, PJM continued to work with the state of New Jersey to implement its state policy goals using the State Agreement Approach (SAA). In April, the New Jersey BPU issued an order formally requesting that PJM open another competitive transmission proposal window under the SAA process to accommodate an increase in the state’s offshore wind targets.

Read more about PJM’s RTEP process and other planning milestones in the 2023 report.