PJM Interconnection, the nation’s largest electric grid operator, forecasts adequate supply to meet summer electricity needs for the 65 million customers it serves in what is expected to be a relatively hot summer.
PJM power system operators have forecasted a peak demand for electricity this summer at approximately 149,000 MW but have performed reliability studies at even higher loads – in excess of 155,000 MW – for the region that includes 13 states and the District of Columbia. PJM has over 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.
“Planning and preparation are key. PJM and our members continually coordinate and prepare for peak load operations throughout the year,” said PJM President and CEO Manu Asthana.
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 save customers billions of dollars each year in combination with PJM planning and operations.
Last year’s peak demand was approximately 144,000 MW, which occurred on July 20. Total energy use during the summer of 2020 was dampened due to impacts surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. PJM is expecting higher demand this summer, as these impacts have decreased and the forecast calls for warmer-than-normal temperatures.
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.
Predicting the demand for electricity helps ensure that consumers have a reliable supply of power today and in the years ahead. Making these predictions – called load forecasting – is a job PJM does routinely, for both short- and long-term periods, to help ensure an adequate supply of power for reliable service at the most reasonable cost.
Read more about how PJM forecasts electricity demand on the PJM Learning Center.