The world’s largest and fastest fuel switch, evolving federal policies and the increasing use of non-traditional generation are driving the power industry to recognize the greater need for resource diversity, said PJM Interconnection President and CEO Terry Boston at PJM’s Grid 20/20: Focus on Resource Diversity forum.
Held last week in Washington D.C., the event also welcomed Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Cheryl LaFleur and featured two panels that discussed shifting trends in resource types.
“We’re facing a big change from the normal pace at which the grid evolved,” noted Boston in his opening remarks. “Looking back 80 years, typically it has taken a decade for a new fuel to emerge as a major source of generation.”
Boston explained that PJM’s current capacity mix is 40 percent coal, 30 percent natural gas, 19 percent nuclear and 11 percent “other,” including renewable resources. Those percentages are changing as the industry rapidly moves to natural gas as a primary fuel.
In her keynote address, FERC Chairman LaFleur said that competitive energy markets have for the most part done a good job attracting new generation and noted that the nation is at a key point in the development of electricity markets.
Diverse panelists from ISO New England, FirstEnergy Solutions, Calpine, Hydro Quebec, Duke Energy, Edision Electric Institute, AEP, Illinois Citizens Utility Board and Hawaiian Electric engaged in a lively discussion about their insights and experience on resource diversity.
More information is available at grid2020.pjm.com.