Saturday, December 24, 2022

PJM Interconnection Grid Operator Asks Consumers To Conserve Electricity [Request Ended]

On December 24 at about 9:30 a.m., PJM Interconnection Senior Vice President of Operations Mike Bryson posted a video statement on PJM’s Twitter account saying “unprecedented” cold weather in the PJM region is causing demand for electricity to increase and urging customers to conserve electricity.

“And we also have a situation,” Bryson said, “Where some of the power plants on our system are not performing because of the cold weather.”

The predominant “mix” of electric generation in the PJM region is driven by natural gas, nuclear and coal.  PJM did not provide a breakdown of which plants are under performing, but a spokesperson said there are a mix of plants under performing.

Bryson also warned, “One of the things we also want to point out is the possibility of rotating customer outages is real. We are going to do everything we can to try to prevent that, but we think it's important that consumers are ready in case we have to take that step.

“One of the things we're asking consumers to do is do what they can to conserve electricity. Conservation actually, really works,” Bryson added.

[The request ended on December 25 at 9:30 a.m.]

DOE 202C Filing

In a separate technical posting, PJM requested all generation owners with “actual or potential emissions restrictions” to update this information to the grid operator.  [Read more here]

PJM said it will be utilizing the information in a 202C filing with the U.S. Department of Energy under the emergency provisions of the Federal Power Act “to ensure that all generation within the PJM operating area will be able to remain operational until system conditions return to normal.”

The U.S. Department of Energy reported it issued the Electric Reliability Council of Texas a section 202C order to connect certain electric generating units due to the ongoing extreme weather.  [Read more here]

Prices Dramatically Increasing

As a result of electricity demand, PJM is reporting locational marginal prices are now well over $700 per MW throughout its grid area and at or exceeding $800 per MW hour in utilities serving Pennsylvania.

Exelon has the lowest locational marginal price at $180 per MW because they rely primarily on nuclear power plants.

Conservation Request

At about 1:00 a.m. December 24, PJM issued its original call for the 65 million electricity customers in the 13 states and the District of Columbia PJM serves to conserve electricity.

PJM is asking consumers to reduce their use of electricity, if health permits, between the hours of 4:00 a.m. on December 24, 2022 and 10:00 a.m. on December 25, 2022.

Bloomberg reported: "The plea directly to consumers is one of the last measures a grid manager can take to avoid a Stage 3 emergency, which has historically meant rolling blackouts are imminent or already in effect.

"Such widespread cutoffs would be devastating for as many as 65 million people relying on the grid for power just as an enormous winter storm batters swaths of US and Canada.

"Demand soared more than 9 gigawatts above forecasts Friday evening — much faster and higher than anticipated. That’s the equivalent of about 9 million homes just popping up on the grid on a typical day.

"The Stage 2 emergency will “certainly be enough” to avert rotating shutoffs, PJM spokeswoman Susan Buehler said in an interview. “It was much colder a lot quicker” than the grid operator had forecast, she said, with millions of people turning up heaters amid freezing temperatures."

Demand for electricity is expected to increase in the PJM region and the regions neighboring PJM because of the extremely cold weather. Electricity customers can take simple electricity conservation steps such as:

-- Setting thermostats lower than usual, if health permits,

-- Postponing use of major electric appliances such as stoves, dishwashers and clothes dryers until other times, and

-- Turning off non-essential electric lights, equipment and appliances.

PUC Urges Conservation

The PA Public Utility Commission issued an appeal to electric customers to conserve electricity as requested by the PJM Interconnection.  [Read more here.]

PJM continues to carefully monitor the power supply conditions. It will do everything possible to keep power flowing in the region. If necessary, PJM may take additional steps, such as reducing voltage. 

PJM is coordinating efforts among generators, power suppliers and local utilities.

PJM is communicating about the situation with state government officials throughout the region.

The PJM Interconnection ensures the reliability of the high-voltage electric power system serving 65 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.

NewsClips - Natural Gas Use:

-- UGI Asks Natural Gas Customers To Conserve Energy Use Due To Regional Natural Gas Supply Constraints  [PaEN]

-- UGI Natural Gas: Due To Regional Natural Gas Supply Constraints Caused By Extreme Weather Conditions, UGI Is Asking 730,000 Customers In 45 Counties To Reduce Gas Use  

-- The Daily Item: UGI Asks Natural Gas Customers To Decrease Use Thru Noon Today To Combat A Regional Natural Gas Supply Constraints Caused By Extreme Weather Conditions

NewsClips - Electricity Use:

-- Pennsylvania Power Outages: 12,196 Customers Without Electric Power [6:00 a.m.]  [Tioga County - 5,754 customers out, 23.1% Outage; Tioga ranks #7 in natural gas production]

-- PJM Dec. 24 Video Update 4:15 pm: Mike Bryson, Sr. VP Operations: Keep Saving Energy

-- AP: PA, Other States Warned Of Rolling Blackouts, Asked To Conserve Electricity

-- WHYY: Turn It Off: Electricity Grid Operator PJM Asks Customers To Conserve Energy

-- Pittsburgh Business Times: PJM Interconnection Urges Customers To Conserve Electricity

-- Bloomberg: PJM Interconnection Orders Some Customers To Curtail Demand, Issues System-Wide Emergency  

-- Bloomberg: PJM Leans On Consumers To Keep Electric Grid Stable

-- PA PUC Echoes Call For Electricity Customers To Conserve Thru Holiday Weekend

-- PJM Interconnection: As of 12.23.22 9:00 p.m. Forecast Load: 131,181MW; Generation: 136,297MW; Winter Peak Demand Forecast: 137,000 MW

-- Reuters: Winter Storm Cuts U.S. Oil, Natural Gas, Power Output, Sending Prices Higher

Related Articles - Electric, Natural Gas:

-- PJM Interconnection ‘Possibility Of Rotating Customer Outages Is Real’ -  A Mix Of Power Plants In The System Are ‘Not Performing’ - Filing DOE Emergency Power Request  [PaEN] 

-- PJM, Members Prepared To Meet Winter Electricity Demand

-- UGI Asks Natural Gas Customers To Conserve Energy Use Due To Regional Natural Gas Supply Constraints  [PaEN]

-- PUC Winter Natural Gas Reliability Reports - Households Using Natural Gas Will See A Significant Increase In Heating Bills

-- PUC Alerts Consumers Utility Natural Gas Costs Will Be Going Up By As Much As 128%, Electric Costs Will Be Going Up By As Much As 34%; Both Driven By Cost Of Natural Gas On World Markets  [PaEN]

-- Independent Fiscal Office Reports 3rd Quarter PA Natural Gas Production Dropped For 3rd Consecutive Quarter Over 2021; PA Hub Natural Gas Price Increased 94.7% Over Last Year

[Posted: December 24, 2022]  PA Environment Digest

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