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PJM to Review Power Market Operational Impacts From December Winter Storm




By Jared Anderson 

January 8, 2023 - PJM Interconnection will provide Jan. 11 an initial review of operational challenges and resulting power market impacts that occurred during the winter storm that swept the US over the Christmas holiday, the grid operator said Jan. 6.

Two presentations will be given from staff in PJM's operations and markets divisions at its Market Implementation Committee meeting, with 90 minutes of the agenda allotted to them, PJM said in an email.

"With the Operating Committee scheduled for Jan. 12, PJM would like to first present to stakeholders an initial joint review at the MIC, with the opportunity to follow up at the OC the following day," the grid operator said.

PJM added that it encourages any stakeholders seeking more information on both operations and markets issues regarding the winter storm to join the MIC and attend the OC for any follow-up discussion. 

Market Impacts 

PJM requested on Dec. 23 that the public in its region conserve electricity as demand was expected to increase with the onset of frigid weather. Temperatures plummeted to an average of 4.6 degrees Fahrenheit on Dec. 23 and Dec. 24, according to CustomWeather data.

Specifically, PJM asked consumers to reduce their electricity use between the hours of 4 am on Dec. 24, 2022, and 10 am on Dec. 25, 2022. The grid operator's peakload reached 134,765 MW on Dec. 23, according to PJM data.

In its winter outlook, PJM forecast peak power demand of about 137,000 MW. The grid operator's all-time winter power demand peak reached 143,295 MW on Feb. 20, 2015.

The higher demand around the holiday pushed up power prices significantly. The daily average on-peak real-time power price at the PJM West Hub was $1,111.90/MWh on Dec. 23 and $646.12/MWh on Dec. 24.

The average real-time on-peak power price at the hub from Dec. 1 to Dec. 22 was $67.37/MWh for comparison.

Former Federal Energy Regulatory Commission chair Richard Glick drew attention to the situation in a recent interview with S&P Global Commodity Insights, saying that PJM, which has the most excess generating capacity of any region, had to call for conservation during the recent winter storm.

"The fact that they were even in that situation, I found it interesting," he said. "It requires further inquiry."

FERC and the North American Electric Reliability Corp. said Dec. 28 that they will conduct a joint inquiry into operation of the bulk power system during winter storms over the Christmas weekend.