PJM Releases Load Forecast Projections

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  • Low load growth trend continues
  • Distributed solar and energy efficiency have grown

PJM has released the 2019 Load Forecast Report, which contains projections of peak load, net energy, load management, and distributed solar generation for each PJM zone and the RTO as a whole.  Forecasts span the years 2019 through 2034. PJM presented the preliminary report previously at the Load Analysis Subcommittee.

The forecast shows that, for years of interest, both summer and winter forecasts are down at least 0.4 percent from last year’s forecasts.

PJM RTO Summer Forecast

2022 (RPM Auction Year) Comparison
2018 Forecast to 2019 Preliminary Down 0.4 percent
2024 (RTEP Study Year) Comparison
2018 Forecast to 2019 Preliminary Down 0.5 percent

PJM RTO Winter Forecast

2021/2022 Comparison
2019 Forecast to 2019 Preliminary Down 0.4 percent
2023/2024 Comparison
2018 Forecast to 2019 Preliminary Down 0.4 percent

John Reynolds, senior lead economic analyst – Resource Adequacy Planning, said that because the Base Residual Auction will be delayed in 2019 (from May until August) for possible reevaluations to the capacity auction construct, PJM staff will develop a second load forecast just for the auction that would include approved peak-shaving adjustments.

That forecast is expected in mid-March 2019. What PJM released on Thursday, however, does not include any of that work.

Some Things to Note:

With distributed solar and energy efficiency already having ramped up over the past decade, those factors aren’t expected to slow load growth as much as in past years (see: Exploring PJM: Energy Efficiency in Load Forecasting).

At the same time, higher efficiency in commercial ventilation and lighting, along with increased residential fuel-switching from electric to natural gas appliances, will weigh on long-term growth (see Weather, EE Influence Load Forecasting).

Criteria Used

Estimation Period
January 1998 through August 2018
Weather Simulation
1993 to 2017 325 Scenarios
Economics
Moody’s Analytics September 2018
Equipment Indices
Itron’s 2018 Release
Residential, Commercial, and Industrial Weights
US Energy Information Administration 861
AWS Solar Addbacks and IHS Solar Forecast
Zonal and Peak Allocation by PJM
Forecast Adjustments
APS, BGE, COMED and Dominion