As summer begins and we all try to keep ourselves cool and comfortable, PJM and its members are prepared with enough resources to power air conditioners and electric fans for the 61 million people in the region. Typically, the greatest use of electricity comes during the summer months.
To help you beat the heat and meet the expected demand for electricity, PJM has about 183,000 megawatts of installed generation to use plus demand response resources.
That sounds like a lot of generation, but PJM expects the highest energy use this summer to be around at 157,000 megawatts. (One megawatt of electricity is enough to power 800 to 1,000 homes). Last summer, because of hotter than normal weather, PJM’s actual peak electricity use was 157,141 megawatts. And, historically, the highest ever demand for electricity on the PJM system was 165,492 megawatts in July 2011.
Demand response, by the way, is a program in which consumers agree in advance to reduce their power use when PJM calls for the reduction and they are compensated when they do.
If you’d like to see what the power use is across the grid right now, check out the load curve chart on pjm.com. When the charts appear, choose the “load” tab. With the load curve, you can see what is forecasted and what the actual and real-time use of power is.