In an attempt to alleviate stresses on the power grid in theMid-Atlantic region this summer, the PJM Interconnection LLC hasinitiated a pilot program under which it will pay electriccustomers to reduce their consumption during emergency situations.

Under its customer load-reduction program, PJM will pay marketparticipants that either self-generate by operating backupfacilities or that measurably reduce their loads though other means(conservation) during PJM emergency events. PJM has asked FERC toapprove the pilot, the details of which were filed with theCommission last week, by the end of the month. The pilot began onJuly 8 and is expect to remain in effect until Sept. 30.

PJM said it initiated the program in response to FERC’s May 17order announcing a number of interim measures that industry couldtake to increase generation supplies and improve the reliability ofthe nation’s transmission grid this summer.

Eligible candidates must be PJM members that can completelydisconnect from the grid and supply their own power load viaself-generation, or be able to reduce a “measurable and verifiableportion” of its load via conservation/efficiency measures or othermethods, according to PJM.

Specifically, candidates must be able to reduce their load by atleast 100 kW during a minimum of 10 hours between July 8-Sept. 30,be able to achieve full reduction within one hour of PJM’s requestto reduce load, be available between the hours of 9 a.m. and 10p.m. seven days a week, and meet certain metering requirements. Themetering equipment must be capable of providing “integrated hourlykWh values…..with a maximum of 2% error end-to-end,” and be ableto measure actual load before and after a reduction request.

PJM said the $5,000 annual membership fee and the $1,500application fee will be waived for participants during the pilot.

PJM noted that it will pay the appropriate zonal locationalmarginal price or $500/MWh, whichever is higher, to pilotparticipants that meet their generation needs by operating backupgeneration or those that significantly reduce their loads throughother measures.

“We are excited about this program that will provide animportant resource during times of high electricity usage. Theprogram will augment the region’s well-established emergencyprocedures,” said Bruce Balmat, vice president of systemoperations. Further information on PJM’s load-reduction pilot canbe found on its website

PJM operates the Mid-Atlantic energy and capacity markets. Itadministers almost 8% of the nation’s electric power supply, with apooled generating capacity of more than 58,000 MW and a membershipof more than 190.

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