PJM Interconnection, operator of the nation's largest electric grid, said Tuesday it is ready to meet the expected power demand of 61 million consumers this summer. Electricity demand is forecasted to reach 152,131 megawatts at its peak.
PJM has 183,912 MW of installed generating capacity available to use. More than 8,700 MW of demand response is also available, which represents load that is willing to be interrupted in case of a system emergency. One megawatt of electricity is enough to power 800 to 1,000 homes.
"Summer tests the system as people try to keep cool in hot and humid weather," said Michael Bryson, vice president – Operations. "With continued transmission enhancements, reinforced capacity commitments and slowing forecasted load growth, we're prepared to meet the region's needs."
PJM's available resources represent a reserve margin of 28.3 percent, well above the required 16.4 percent margin. A reserve margin ensures that there will be enough power to meet consumers' needs in case demand is higher than forecasted or generation is unexpectedly unavailable.
This summer is the first to include capacity that will follow PJM's Capacity Performance standards. Capacity Performance resources must produce electricity when called on regardless of weather conditions or extreme system conditions.
Committed resources that do not perform when called upon will face significant non-performances charges. These resources were committed in a transitional capacity auction in August 2015.
Last year's summer peak demand for electricity was more than 143,500 MW, which occurred on July 28. The highest use of power in PJM was nearly 166,000 MW in 2006.PJM Interconnection, founded in 1927, 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.