PJM says it will have the power to meet the summer heat in 2015

PJM Interconnection said May 19 that it is ready with power supplies to meet 61 million consumers’ expected power demand this summer, with electricity demand forecasted to reach about 155,279 MW at its peak.

The highest peak use of power in PJM was 165,492 MW in July 2011.

“We expect to have sufficient power to keep air conditioners and all electrical devices running this summer,” said Michael J. Kormos, executive vice president–Operations. “Summer can be the real test of our system because of heavy use of air conditioning across the 13-state region. This is why we work year-round to ensure that power resources are in place to meet consumer demand.”

PJM has 177,650 MW of installed generating capacity available. The amount of installed generation is slightly less than last year because of a number of power plant retirements. However, the reserve margin is nearly 21%, which is above the 15.6% required margin.

Notable is that in PJM, several power generating companies are retiring coal-fired plants to meet federal air-emissions requirements. For example, American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) alone plans, by June 1 of this year, right at the beginning of the summer season, to retire coal capacity at plants like Kammer, Kanawha River, Clinch River, Muskingum River and Tanners Creek.

PJM expects to have about 8,500 MW of demand response and energy efficiency available this summer to help meet its needs. Demand response is a program of committed customers who are willing to interrupt or reduce their electricity use in the event of a system emergency.

Since the summer of 2014, PJM has made various transmission enhancements to the bulk power system, including adding new 230-kV and 138-kV transmission lines, converting an existing transmission line from 138 kV to 230 kV, and upgrading 500/230-kV transformers. In addition, PJM is retrofitting approximately twenty 69-kV, 138-kV and 345-kV transmission lines with higher-rated transmission conductors. The recent completion of the Susquehanna-Roseland 500-kV transmission line (between Pennsylvania and New Jersey) is also expected to relieve congestion on the system this summer.

PJM ensures the reliability of the high-voltage electric power system serving 61 million people in all or parts of Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. PJM coordinates and directs the operation of the region’s transmission grid, which includes 62,556 miles of transmission lines; administers a competitive wholesale electricity market; and plans regional transmission expansion improvements to maintain grid reliability and relieve congestion.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.