PJM Interconnection expects adequate resources this summer to meet consumers' use of electricity in its region, which includes 13 states and the District of Columbia. The peak demand for power this summer is estimated to reach 148,940 MW, assuming typical summer peak weather conditions.
For the first time, PJM's summer forecast includes the transmission zones of American Transmission Systems Inc. and Cleveland Public Power, which will integrate into PJM June 1. Adjusting for this change, the anticipated load growth from 2010 to 2011 is 1.1 percent—down slightly from recent years due to the effects of the slower economy.
The PJM region includes 54 million people and 20 percent of the U.S. economy.
"We expect to be able to manage the region's power needs because of ample reserves and the continuing success we've had with our demand response program, which was key last summer in managing the weeks of sustained high temperatures and electricity use," said Michael J. Kormos, PJM senior vice president – Operations. "In addition, transmission improvements from our regional planning process, including the completion of a major new transmission line, will improve the ability to meet electricity demand in the greater Baltimore-Washington areas."
The 500-kilovolt Trans Allegheny Line (TrAIL) from southwestern Pennsylvania to northern Virginia and upgrades to a Virginia substation are expected to be in service by the summer and will help relieve congestion of electricity transmission into Baltimore, Washington and northern Virginia.
Last year, consumers set a new record for summer energy use, using 203,945,861 megawatt-hours (MWh) of electricity. The previous record summer use was in 2005, with 203,415,406 MWh.
PJM has 180,400 MW of generation capacity to meet the demand for electricity this summer.
In addition, PJM expects to have a record amount of emergency load management along with energy efficiency of 12,222 MW. Consumers in load management programs typically receive either a special rate or payments for stopping or reducing their use of electricity under emergency conditions. The amount of emergency load management has grown about one-third since last year. It has grown seven-fold since 2006.
This summer's actual peak use could be higher or lower than predicted if temperatures are higher or lower than normal.
Peak electricity use in the PJM region is driven by high temperatures and economic conditions. PJM's forecast looks at a range of possible conditions to allow for variation in weather conditions. The forecast is based on typical peak weather conditions experienced over the past 37 years. Actual electricity demand will vary as temperatures vary from normal.
PJM's all-time record use of electricity of 144,644 MW occurred in 2006.