System Remains Strong in Stress Test Examining Future Resource Adequacy

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A recent PJM Fuel Security Resource Adequacy Assessment looking five years into the future revealed no near-term winter reliability concern.

Tom Falin, Director, Resource Adequacy Planning – Planning, reviewed the results at the Aug. 25 meeting of the Markets & Reliability Committee.

Falin said the study’s findings rely heavily on PJM’s assumption of winter 2026/2027 reserves.

“We definitely have to continue to monitor the reserve margin to see how that could change,” he said. “This is very linked to the reserve margin.”

A Larger Effort to Monitor Fuel Security

The assessment is part of a larger effort to monitor fuel security dating back to 2015, when PJM began producing a series of reports on the impacts of the evolving resource mix on grid reliability.

After an extensive analysis released in late 2018, followed by further study by the Fuel Security Senior Task Force, the MRC voted to sunset that group and instead receive periodic reports on the issue.

This update is timely, as PJM continues to assess the impact of extreme events on the system.

Falin said assessments such as the one presented Aug. 25 would continue on an annual basis, and future results may be used to inform the ongoing capacity market reform process as well as Installed Reserve Margin Study assumptions.

Methodology for the Assessment

In conducting the analysis, PJM used the Regional Transmission Expansion Plan (RTEP) portfolio and simulated winter conditions annually back to 1972/1973.

From those patterns, analysts identified 29 cold snaps. Those weather conditions were run through PJM’s current load forecast model.

The scenarios yielded little to no Loss of Load Expectation (LOLE), so the test stressed the system further by removing available energy in 1,000 MW increments, Falin said.

At 7,000 MW, a slight LOLE registered with the probability of 1 in 1,000 years. With 15,000 MW removed, a small LOLE was predicted equal to 1 in 80 years.

Some Local Delivery Areas Tested

“Even in the cases when we looked at a more localized level, we weren’t seeing concerning amounts of LOLE, even under a stressed scenario,” Falin said.

Going forward, the assessment will be conducted during the first quarter of each year, following the development of the RTEP portfolio in February. Inputs to the assessment will be updated by December of each year. The updates will roll in data on each of the inputs from the previous winter season.