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PJM’s hot summer fails to generate demand

PJM representatives have stated that increases in solar net metering, conservation efforts, and more efficient electronic devices as possible reasons for the lower peak load.


This summer in the PJM Interconnection was hotter than the prior three, but systemwide peakload was lower than the highest peakload for those years, and PJM staffers are unsure why.

During Tuesday’s PJM Operating Committee meeting, Chris Pilong, PJM dispatch manager, presented a written overview of PJM’s operations in the period from June through August 2016, which was hotter than the same three-month periods of 2013, 2014 and 2015, judging by the number of cooling degree days at various cities around the PJM footprint. PJM’s service territory stretches as far west as Chicago, as far east as New Jersey, as far north as the Pennsylvania shores of Lake Erie and as far south as eastern North Carolina.

The National Weather Service reported this summer’s CDD total for Pittsburgh, which lies near the geographic center of the PJM footprint, was about 52% above normal and about 36% above summer 2015 levels.

Total load this June through August, at 226.6 TWh, was larger than total loads during the summers of 2013 through 2015, Pilong said. The largest June-through-August total over the previous three years was 216 TWh in the summer of 2013.

PJM had 23 hot weather alerts this summer, while the top number of such alerts for the previous three summers was 16 in 2015. Between 10,000 and 13,000 MW of generation was unavailable during this summer’s hot weather alerts, Pilong reported.

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