Unplugging

PJM launched Plugged In a few years ago as a platform to discuss PJM and industry topics in a conversational manner. Since then, PJM introduced the Learning Center, which provides high-level information about PJM-related topics in an easy-to-read format, and then Inside Lines, a news site updated several times a week with the latest PJM news.

With the success of these resources, we are unplugging Plugged In. While the content will remain online here for a little while longer, there will be no more new posts.

If you have kept up with Plugged In over the years, thank you for reading! And don’t worry; you can still keep up with everything PJM-related on Inside Lines!

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New Emerging Technology Brochure Available

PJM’s participation in emerging technology initiatives builds on its history of innovation, and reflects its commitment to collaboration and enhancing the reliability and cost-effectiveness of the power grid.

To that end, PJM has produced a new brochure (PDF) on emerging technologies which highlights PJM’s participation in a number of emerging technology initiatives focused on ensuring the reliability of the grid and planning for the future.

Some highlights:

Synchrophasors

With the aid of a $14 million stimulus grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, PJM and its member transmission owners have installed more than 400 phasor measurement units, or synchrophasors, in over 100 substations in 10 different states.

Pilot Projects

These projects cover a broad spectrum, including energy storage, dynamic load response, renewables, transmission operations, load forecasting, microgrids and resiliency planning.

Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles and Vehicle-to-Grid

This includes using newly adopted industry Smart Grid standards to communicate wholesale electricity pricing signals to electric vehicles and a vehicle-to-grid project that demonstrates the potential for electric vehicles to act as mobile storage devices.

Energy Storage

Energy storage can provide grid operators like PJM a way to keep power supply stable when wind generators or other renewable power sources are not available.

Microgrids

These small clusters of energy assets and loads can achieve a variety of benefits for the operator. This can result in increased reliability during grid system disturbances such as storm outages.

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PJM Named One of Nation’s Most Adoption-friendly Companies for the 9th Consecutive Year

We are extremely honored to be named by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption as one of the 100 most adoption-friendly companies in the nation for the ninth consecutive year, and to be ranked first among energy and utility companies.

Choosing to adopt a child is noble and worthy endeavor, but it can come with a serious financial burden. That is why we are committed to our employees and their families and to providing a variety of meaningful programs and benefits for those looking to adopt. It’s just one way we can ease the financial burden for adoptive families at PJM.

Learn more about the Dave Thomas Foundation.

Web

 

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Keeping People Calm and Cool…You’re Welcome

By Paula DuPont-Kidd

Here is a column by a PJM staff communicator, and one in an occasional feature to Plugged In.

If you watch old movies, you’ve seen the hot Southern courtroom scene where jurors and onlookers are fanning their perspiration-beaded faces. They’re wearing long, heavy clothing and barely moving. The heat itself is another actor in the scene — creating a growing undercurrent of unrest beneath the slow-moving arguments.  Time seems to stand still until the heat sparks an emotional outburst.

Heat is always the instigator, capable of making a normally cool-headed person snap. According to research presented by psychologist John Grohol of PsychCentral.com, heat waves are related to violent behavior and aggression and are associated with higher drug and alcohol abuse. Higher levels of humidity, which often accompany a heat wave, decrease concentration and increase sleepiness. High humidity is also associated with a lack of energy.

We didn’t really need research to tell us heat makes people cranky.

Fortunately, because of Willis Carrier’s 1902 invention of air conditioning, it’s difficult to imagine life without it. Thanks to all of the companies that make air conditioning work by generating, transmitting and delivering electricity, we don’t have to sweat it out.

Air conditioning makes us happier and calmer. In my opinion, air conditioning is the uncelebrated diplomat that brings peace and tranquility to the hot, bothered and stewing.

Nothing replaces bright sunshine at the beach, golf course, pool or outdoor concert. Of course it isn’t really summer unless there’s a string of sunny 90-degree days somewhere in it.

But let’s face it, we’re all just a little more tolerant of life’s challenges when we are cool and comfortable. Traffic is a little less irritating, food tastes better and people are little less edgy when the air conditioner is on.

You’re welcome.

The author is a long-time air conditioning fan and an unbiased proponent of electricity.

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How Does a Generator Connect to PJM? New Video Helps Explain

When a generator wants to connect to the transmission system, PJM follows a thorough and detailed process. It ensures that when the generator connects, it can deliver power safely and reliably and participate in PJM’s markets.

We’ve briefly discussed the interconnection process previously on Plugged In. In a new video, PJM’s Susan McGill, senior engineer – Interconnection Projects, explains the four-phase process for a generator to connect to the PJM grid. She describes the process from the initial application for a generator to connect to the PJM system, to coordination with local utilities to ensure the generator can connect safely and reliably, through commercial operation of that generator.

The video is part of PJM’s series of “Power Clips.” They are part of the PJM Learning Center (also see our previous post about how transmission lines get built). Each Power Clip gives a brief, high-level overview of a PJM-related industry topic. The Learning Center is dedicated to explaining in simple terms the power industry and PJM’s key priority of ensuring reliable power supplies.

Check out all of the Power Clips.

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Why Does a Transmission Line Get Built?

As part of PJM’s work to ensure the reliability of the electric grid for 61 million people, PJM studies potential reliability issues. After a lot of careful consideration, we can ask for new transmission lines to be built to solve developing problems.

In a brief new video, PJM’s Yonas Habtemichael, engineer – Transmission Planning, explains and illustrates how a transmission line gets built in the region PJM serves. He walks through PJM’s planning process. It evaluates proposed upgrades to the grid and ensures that PJM can meet electricity demand now and into the future – in short, keeping the lights on.

The video is a part of PJM’s series of “Power Clips.” They are a part of the PJM Learning Center. Each Power Clip gives a brief, high-level overview of a PJM-related industry topic. The Learning Center explains in simple terms the power industry and PJM’s priority of ensuring reliable power supplies.

Check out more Power Clips.

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Does Demand for Power Go Up on Hot Summer Holidays and Weekends?

Occasionally we’re asked if demand for power goes up over a typically hot summer holiday such as Independence Day or a weekend.

While more people might be at home cranking up their air conditioners over a sweltering holiday or weekend, typically demand actually goes down. This is because, while you might use your air conditioner more heavily over a weekend, many offices and businesses, which use a lot of electricity to keep their entire buildings cool, close over a weekend or holiday and don’t use the amount of electricity it does throughout the work week.

You can learn more about how PJM works to keep the lights on 24/7 in the Learning Center.

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How Does PJM Make Money? What Happens When a Power Plant Retires? Two New Learning Center Pages Explain

How does PJM make money? What does PJM do to keep the grid stable when a generator plans to retire? PJM has launched two new pages on the PJM Learning Center at learn.pjm.com to help answer these questions.

Check out these new pages at learn.pjm.com.

PJM redesigned the Learning Center website last year to make it a more visual and easy-to-understand online source dedicated to explaining complex PJM and power industry topics. The Learning Center project team continually works with subject matter experts across PJM departments to enhance and update the information on the website.

Learning Center

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PJM Learning Center Website Wins Award for Publication Excellence

Last September a team of PJM experts worked together to rewrite, redesign and expand the Learning Center website at learn.pjm.com to transform it into your simple, clear and visual resource for understanding the power industry and PJM.

The redesigned site has won an APEX award in the category of most improved websites. APEX stands for Awards for Publication Excellence. The award program is a competition for communications professionals.

The Learning Center touches a range of topics from how electricity is created and transported to ensure a reliable grid, to an overview of the fair and efficient electricity markets that PJM administers, to infrastructure planning as well as emerging grid technologies for the future.

PJM continues to make ongoing enhancements to the site. Stay tuned for new pages and videos launching this summer.

Apex Award

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Next Grid 20/20 Forum to Explore Gas/Electric Interoperability

PJM often holds what we call “Grid 20/20” forums that bring together PJM members, policymakers and industry experts to discuss cutting-edge ideas, visions and technologies that will transform electricity in the 21st century.

Our next forum, “PJM’s Grid 20/20: Focus on Gas/Electric Interoperability,” held on June 17, will feature Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioner Philip Moeller among the key speakers.

The forum focuses on the two industries continuing to work collaboratively to adjust to the growing use of natural gas for electric generation. PJM, regulators and gas and electric industry companies continue to assess the impact on grid operations, the markets, infrastructure planning and regulatory compliance. The trend to natural-gas-fired generation also is a factor in considering the potential impacts of the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Clean Power Plan.

PJM President and CEO Terry Boston will open the forum, which also will feature ISO New England CEO Gordon van Welie and three panels of industry experts.

Learn more or register on the PJM website.

Grid 20/20 2015

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