PJM expects adequate electricity resources this summer

Like utilities in Maryland and New York, PJM Interconnection said May 23 that it expects to have adequate electricity resources available this summer, which is forecast to have a peak demand of 153,780 MW, assuming normal temperatures.

PJM’s all-time peak demand of 163,760 MW was set during record heat.

The RTO said it has 10,230 MW of demand response and energy efficiency to meet demand, adding that this year, it has added a total of 5,007 MW of new capacity resources that include demand response, energy efficiency and generation. The installed generation capacity available this summer to meet forecast demand is 185,180 MW.

PJM’s region this year includes the addition of Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) subsidiaries Duke Energy Ohio and Duke Energy Kentucky customers, the RTO said, noting that adjusting for these new member companies, the anticipated load growth between 2011 and 2012 is 1.2%, or slightly lower than normal once again due to the sluggish economy.

Michael Kormos, senior vice president of operations with PJM, said in the statement that while it is not possible to forecast for the natural disasters and extreme weather conditions that summer can bring, PJM can ensure there is enough power available for the peak demand for power to be used at one time in the summer.

“Last summer, we not only met a new record peak for power but kept the high voltage grid stable despite a hurricane, tropical storm and earthquake,” he said.

PJM is able to get earlier warnings of some events as it has a full-time meteorologist on staff, newer weather forecasting technology and key alert systems. Additionally, PJM said that each year, it regularly conducts emergency preparedness drills with its members and participates in industry-wide exercises for responding to weather and security-related threats.

In New York, staff at the state Department of Public Service (DPS) told the state Public Service Commission (PSC) on May 17 that the state should have adequate power system reliability and electricity generation this summer.

The PSC received an update from the staff of the DPS outlining electric utilities’ summer preparedness in terms of addressing transmission and distribution reliability needs, and price volatility for residential and small commercial and industrial customers who take electric supply from the utilities.

“The state’s utilities are ready and able to provide adequate and reliable service this summer,” said PSC Chairman Garry Brown. “In addition, newly introduced demand-reduction programs in the New York City area will help ensure that the metro area — the region with the highest electricity demand in the state during the summer — will have a significant excess capacity margin.”

And on May 18, Maryland utilities also told state regulators they are prepared for the coming heat.

Constellation Energy subsidiary Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE), for instance, said it expects the load to remain relatively flat for the next two summers before the economic rebound takes hold.

Based on its review of reports on generation and regional transmission adequacy, its assessment of the BGE system, the system projects that are underway, the load response programs in place and the forecast peak demand load, BGE said it does not expect customer load loss due to system capacity deficiencies this summer. This, however, does not preclude outages caused by equipment problems and/or weather event conditions, BGE added.

BGE said it has completed, or is in the process of completing, several transmission projects in advance of this year’s summer season. Those projects, which will help meet the growing electricity demand and improve supply reliability in the service area, include the rebuild of the High Ridge 230-kV substation.

Additionally, through the PJM planning process, several projects that will increase reliability in BGE’s service area are in various stages of development, including rebuilding the Mount Storm-Doubs 500-kV line from the Mount Storm substation to the Doubs substation.

BGE also said it has completed several distribution projects within the past year that have helped meet the growing electricity demand and/or improve supply reliability in its service territory, including new or upgraded substation transformers.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3153 Articles
Corina Rivera-Linares, chief editor for TransmissionHub, has covered the U.S. power industry for the past 15 years. Before joining TransmissionHub, Corina covered renewable energy and environmental issues, as well as transmission, generation, regulation, legislation and ISO/RTO matters at SNL Financial. She has also covered such topics as health, politics, and education for weekly newspapers and national magazines. She can be reached at clinares@endeavorb2b.com.