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Analysis: PJM expects 152 GW summer peak, more than 28% reserve margin

Houston — PJM Interconnection expects summer peakload to reach roughly 152,000 MW with above-average temperatures forecast to hit the region.

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With 184,010 MW of installed generating capacity available, the expected summer reserve margin -- when taking into account about 9,000 MW of available demand response capacity -- is more than 28% or 41,000 MW, well above the required level of 16.1%, PJM said Monday.

"We have planned and prepared for summer operations and we have plenty of reserves to meet the demand," PJM President and CEO Andrew Ott said.

The three-month outlook temperature probability shows above-normal temperatures throughout the region, according to the US National Weather Service. PJM's all-time record peak load is 165,492 MW, which was reached during the summer of 2006. The other top 10 PJM summer peak days occurred between 2011 and 2013.


The PJM West Hub on-peak July-August package is currently in the upper $30s/MWh, nearly 12% lower than the July-August 2017 package average last May, according to PJM data. However, the PJM West Hub on-peak July-August 2018 package is 13.5% higher than the on-peak day-ahead average last July of $33.25/MWh and 22.2% higher than where the day-ahead traded in August at $19.50/MWh, according to PJM data. Last summer, PJM demand peaked at 145,331 MW on July 19, more than 5% below the summer forecast level of nearly 153,000 GW.

Year to date, PJM actual peakload has averaged 4,775 MW higher than the same period in 2017, according to grid operator data.


PJM has nearly 3,775 MW of generation scheduled to be deactivated by July. That includes 614 MW of natural gas-fired generation and 3,046 MW of coal-fired generation, according to PJM data.

The 2018 scheduled retirements have increased in comparison to a total of 2,083 MW deactivated in all of 2017, including 2,048 MW of coal.

--Kassia Micek,

--Edited by Christopher Newkumet,