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PJM celebrates 20 years of operational competitiveness

April 1 will herald PJM Interconnection's 20-year anniversary of operating competitive wholesale electricity markets that maintain grid reliability at the lowest reasonable cost, the company declared in a March 27 statement. PJM revamped the utility business by launching the first bid-based electricity market on April 1, 1997, at a time when the U.S. power industry was going through a federal restructuring.

The initiative opened transmission lines to competitors and nonincumbent entities and aligned locational prices with corresponding grid conditions. The market provides companies an exchange where they may buy less expensive power and sell surplus electricity.

The model paved the way for newer technologies, including renewable power, battery storage and vehicle-to-grid initiatives in PJM areas in 13 states and the District of Columbia, and showed the exit to older and uneconomical resources.

The RTO said it will mark anniversaries throughout the year, including at its annual shareholders meeting in May.