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PJM Projecting Enough Power to Meet Summer Demand

PJM Interconnection said it should have enough energy supplies on hand to meet demand for electricity this summer.

On Tuesday, PJM -- the regional transmission organization (RTO) that manages the grid for 61 million customers in all or parts of 13 states plus the District of Columbia, is projecting electricity demand will peak at 155,279 MW this summer. PJM said it has 177,650 MW of installed generating capacity available to use.

"We expect to have sufficient power to keep air conditioners and all electrical devices running this summer," said PJM’s Michael Kormos, executive vice president for operations. "Summer can be the real test of our system because of heavy use of air conditioning across the 13-state region. This is why we work year-round to ensure that power resources are in place to meet consumer demand."

PJM said the amount of installed generation is slightly below last year because of several power plant retirements. But the RTO added that the reserve margin is nearly 21%, which is above the required margin of 15.6%.

According to PJM, it also should have about 8,500 MW available through demand response, a program of committed customers that are willing to have their service interrupted or reduced in the event of a system emergency. PJM said its record peak demand for power occurred in July 2011, when it was 165,492 MW. One MW is enough electricity to power 800-1,000 homes.

Last March, analysts with Genscape Inc. estimated that total demand for natural gas in the Lower 48, some of which would be used for power generation, would reach 64 Bcf/d this summer (see Daily GPI, March 26). That total would be about 2.4 Bcf/d more than last year, but gas supplies were projected to be 3.1 Bcf/d higher and would, in effect, keep prices stable.

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