Monday, March 18, 2019

PJM: Reliability, Fuel Supply Strong In PJM During 2018-19 Winter

On March 18, the PJM electrical grid came through the 2018–2019 winter reliably in the face of extreme temperatures and high electricity demand.
The 2018–2019 winter provided insights into grid operation, market trends and the security of fuel supplies for the 13 states and District of Columbia that make up PJM’s service area. PJM saw the following:
-- Electricity was supplied by a diverse set of resources, including natural gas, coal, nuclear and renewables.
-- Generator performance continued to improve, with forced outages down from previous cold weather
-- A break in a major natural gas pipeline occurred during winter peak operations, but did not pose a significant impact to generation.
-- Pricing in PJM’s reserve market during stressed conditions showed that valuable energy reserves, while adequate during these periods, were not appropriately compensated in the market, which supports the movement for price reforms.
-- Wind generation in PJM reached its all-time peak of 7,808 MW on Jan. 9.
During the short but intense cold snap that impacted PJM’s footprint between Jan. 28–31, forced outages were slightly higher than normal winter operations, which is typical for extreme cold periods. But overall generator performance was good, and continued to show marked improvement over the polar vortex winter of 2013–2014.
During the 2013-2014 winter, PJM faced forced generation outages of up to 22 percent. Last winter (2017–2018), the extended cold snap produced forced outages of just 12 percent. And during the recent cold weather of Jan. 30 and Jan. 31, PJM saw outages down to 8.6 percent and 10.6 percent, respectively.
The output of the diverse generation fleet was similar to that of the 2018 cold snap, with a significant increase in the percentage of natural gas, and a decrease in the percentage of coal-fired generation. 
More information is available in PJM’s Cold Weather Operations Summary.

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