PJM region demand up even without warmer temperatures

Valley Forge, Pa., November 9, 2010 — A recovering economy increased the peak demand for electricity this summer in the 13-state PJM Interconnection region.

When adjusted for unusually warm weather, consumers’ highest demand for electricity increased about 1 percent compared to summer 2009.

“It may seem like a small increase, but it’s consistent with expected effects of economic recovery,” said Michael J. Kormos, PJM senior vice president — Operations. “It’s also a significant change from the reduction in peak demand experienced in 2009 and is the largest increase in weather-adjusted peak demand since 2006 when we recorded our all-time peak.”

Peak demand is the greatest amount of electricity used in one hour. The power grid has to be built to handle that amount of power use. Enough resources — generation and demand response — have to be available to supply the peak demand. Power demand tends to peak in the summer in the PJM region because of the use of air conditioning.

PJM Interconnection, founded in 1927, ensures the reliability of the high-voltage electric power system serving 51 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 6,038 substations and 56,500 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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