Record rainy summer, Oyster Creek at Operating Committee

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Pennsylvania this summer experienced its rainiest July since 1895 and the wettest August since 1903, Chris Pilong, director – Dispatch, told the Operating Committee Tuesday.

“The story of this summer has been rain,” which led to localized flooding and significant hydro power – but no systems issues, Pilong said.

The wet weather kept the overall temperatures down, he said.

However, that didn’t mean it wasn’t hot. Toward the end of August and into September, PJM called a total of seven hot weather alerts and deferred maintenance on about 100 transmission facilities. That precaution has continued with the persistent warm weather, Pilong said.

The system hit its peak demand of 150,650 megawatts at 4 p.m. on Aug. 28, with generation outages of 13,590 MW. That compares with last year’s peak of 145,638 MW at 6 p.m. on July 19, with generation outages of 16,538 MW.

Pilong said PJM was expecting a peak of about 152,000 MW, so it was prepared for the August spike.

Both periods were described as having a strong voltage profile with minimal transmission limitations.

Pilong also briefed the group on Hurricane Florence, adding that market signals worked as designed.

In preparation for the storm, PJM reached out to gas pipelines, generators, transmission owners, neighboring RTOs and FEMA, and called for conservative operations.

The track of the storm early in the week indicated a potential path directly through Virginia after landfall in North Carolina. Ultimately, the storm’s path changed and headed further south.

“We dodged a bullet on this one,” said Pilong.

About 700,000 in all were impacted during the hurricane, including about 2,000 PJM/Dominion customers in the North Carolina area.

Pilong concluded his operations review by noting the end of an era with the first decommissioning of a major nuclear player in the industry: Oyster Creek came offline at noon on Sept. 17, with no effect to the system.

Oyster Creek, opening in 1967, was New Jersey’s first nuclear generating station.

In other business, the committee unanimously approved by acclamation changes to Manual 3A: Energy Management System Model Updates and Quality Assurance and Manual 13: Emergency Operations.

The group also endorsed a problem statement and issue charge for enhancing the Resource Tracker process.

Among the first reads were the 2018/19 Winter Weekly Reserve Target analysis review and the 2019 Day Ahead Scheduling Reserve Requirement.

Updates were provided on cold weather preparation and PJM’s resilience roadmap, among other issues.