This Week Showed Why Customer Load Management is Critical to Electric Grid Reliability

PJM this week issued an emergency demand response call to certain areas of the region’s electric grid, including AEP territory, as unseasonably warm temperatures combined with offline power plants to create electric capacity concerns. While Wednesday’s electrical load was not a peak event, many power plants were offline to conduct seasonal maintenance. The PJM service area experienced its highest October load since 2007 and issued emergency demand response alerts to AEP, Baltimore Gas and Electric, Dominion, and Pepco zones. DP&L, Duke, and FirstEnergy customers were not in the emergency area. Demand response calls went to curtailment service providers and customers on utility interruptible tariffs. Customer demand response was credited with keeping the power system up and running.

Demand response programs create voluntary revenue streams for manufacturers and other customers, while preventing the need to build costly power plants, which may only be needed for a few hours every few years — thereby keeping electricity prices lower for all customers. This week’s event highlights the importance of flexible power resources to maintain grid reliability. Contact OMA’s energy engineer John Seryak if you have questions regarding demand response, or concerns you experienced with Wednesday’s event. 10/3/2019