PJM Interconnection marks 75th anniversary

VALLEY FORGE, Pa., Sept. 27, 2002 — The PJM Interconnection, North America’s largest power grid, recently celebrates 75 years of safely and reliably operating the electric grid. One of the earliest power pools, PJM was created to provide customers with greater reliability, higher efficiency and lower costs for electricity.

Today, grid operators from around the world come to PJM to learn how it administers the world’s largest competitive wholesale electricity market.

The year 1927 was one for innovation. While PJM was being created, the first feature-length talking motion picture was released, and television was first demonstrated in the U.S.

“Like those ideas, PJM was started with existing know-how and then flourished because, like the others, we adapted new technologies to better serve our customers,” said Phillip Harris, PJM president and chief executive officer. “In the beginning, PJM was a way to use transmission lines to achieve the benefits of pooled generation. Recently, we use the power of computers to turn millions of bits and bytes of raw data into transparent information that allows our wholesale market to function successfully.”

Last year PJM’s wholesale electricity market cleared 186,220 energy transactions. The total value of all transactions billed by PJM in 2001 was $3.3 billion. PJM has administered more than $9 billion in energy and energy service trades since the regional markets opened in 1997. More than 70 nations have sent delegates to PJM to learn about its market model and the operation of the grid.

“We’ve demonstrated that competitive wholesale electricity markets do work,” Harris said. “Since our markets have opened, reliability has increased, wholesale power prices are lower and generation availability has increased.”

PJM was born as an agreement, signed 75 years ago recently, by the chief executive officers of what are now PSE&G, PECO Energy Company and PPL Electric Utilities. PJM’s original utilities served parts of New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania.

Recently, PJM’s 200 plus members include generating companies, power marketers and retailers, cooperatives, municipalities, end-use customers and utilities. PJM serves 25 million people in all or part of Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. PJM is the country’s first fully functioning regional transmission organization.

Through its dynamic, stakeholder-based process, PJM and its members continue to evolve and adapt to meet the needs of the competitive wholesale markets.

With the announcements this summer that additional transmission systems will join PJM, the company’s market will double. By the end of 2003, PJM will serve 50 million people in 13 states and the District of Columbia. PJM’s wholesale energy market will include 162,700 megawatts of generation, compared to 72,000 today.

Source: PJM Interconnection

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