PJM Expects to Be Able to Handle Summer Electric Needs - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

PJM Expects to Be Able to Handle Summer Electric Needs

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(File photo) (File photo)

DOVER, Del. -- Officials with PJM Interconnection, the company responsible for an electric grid transmitting power to 65 million people across more than a dozen states and thousands here on Delmarva, said on Monday that the system should be able to handle power demands this summer.

Company officials said during a news conference at PJM's office in Norristown, Pennsylvania, they expect hot temperatures to cause a projected  peak demand of 153,000 megawatts of electricity this summer. They said that level would power 153 million homes and it would be an increase from the peak demand of 151,907 megawatts last year.

Mike Bryson, the vice president of operations with PJM, said the company uses a number of techniques to predict when demand will be highest. The summer months tend to bring the days with highest usage of devices like air conditioning.

"We have our own meteorologist on staff. We tap into all the meteorologists that are out there. We also have weather services," he said.

But extreme heat sustained over a number of days can overwork generators and transformers, requiring action by grid operators to compensate for loss of equipment.

"We'll take corrective action to make up for those megawatts of generation that have been lost due to those units tripping offline or we'll re-route the power in the event there's a transformer issue of some sort," said Ken Seiler, the executive director of system operations at PJM.

However, officials noted hot weather isn't the only major demand on the grid. Bryson said more than 20 percent of the network's generators were offline twice in a single day during the Polar Vortex event from a couple years ago.

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