PJM, member companies address Hurricane Irene aftermath

Valley Forge, Pa., Aug. 29, 2011 PJM Interconnection continues to work with member companies who are restoring power to an estimated two million customers in PJM’s Mid-Atlantic and southern regions, hardest hit by the massive storm over the weekend.

As part of this effort, local distribution companies are working to restore lower voltage transmission lines and operate facilities in flooded zones.

The high-voltage transmission grid, for which PJM is the system operator, remained stable throughout the Category 1 Hurricane Irene this weekend. At the storm’s height, an estimated three million customers were without power, primarily in Virginia, North Carolina, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

“The hurricane, which was one of the worst to hit areas of the PJM region in decades, has elicited the best from our member companies as they work tirelessly to restore power to areas hard hit by the high winds and torrential rain,” said Terry Boston, president and chief executive officer of PJM.

Although some generating plants were impacted by the hurricane, PJM had enough generation capacity. The restoration process is expected to be lengthy due to the amount of distribution damage, flooding of substations and downed lines.

PJM Interconnection, founded in 1927, ensures the reliability of the high-voltage electric power system serving 58 million people in all or parts of Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.

PJM coordinates and directs the operation of the region’s transmission grid, which includes 61,000 miles of transmission lines; administers a competitive wholesale electricity market; and plans regional transmission expansion improvements to maintain grid reliability and relieve congestion.

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