The recent snow bomb cyclone that exploded over the densely populated Northeast and the withering cold it ushered in was weathered by the region’s electric grid thanks to robust pre-event planning and execution.
Learning from the polar vortex that slammed into the region in 2014, the PJM Interconnection was prepared for three days of peak demand for electricity.
Its 82,000 miles of transmission lines hummed even while the landscape was slammed by snow and frigid temperatures.
“After the polar vortex, PJM worked with our members to better prepare to meet the demands of the system in cold weather,” said Mike Bryson, vice president of operations.
That preparation included improved communications with critical gas pipeline infrastructure operators and modification of electric equipment to improve its performance.
On Friday, January 5, PJM experienced its fourth highest peak demand for electric power. At 7 pm, demand reached 138,465 megawatts. Electricity use also peaked on the morning of January 5 and on January 3.
The cold weather snap extended from December 27 through January 7.
“In the end, we saw better availability of resources during the extreme cold,” Bryson said.