PJM Employee No. 13, Jim Kirby, Has Left the Building
On Friday, PJM employee No. 13 switched off the lights of a nearly 53-year career, leaving open a position for a mentor, office jokester and Santa Claus.
“It’s an odd feeling. It’s not something you can ever rehearse or plan for,” Jim Kirby — commonly called Kirb — said in an interview on the morning of his last day. “It’s been a great ride.”
The Philadelphia native started his career with PECO Energy on Sept. 4, 1962, at 10th and Chestnut streets. That was back when the company was Philadelphia Electric Co. and ran PJM cooperatively with seven other utilities. The following year, Kirb became a PJM clerk, working as a load scheduler in operations.
Over the next 10 years, Kirb went to school at night to earn a degree in electrical engineering from Drexel University. PJM moved to Valley Forge in 1970, and through the years Kirb rose through the ranks to senior lead knowledge management consultant.
He was there to witness the single biggest game-changing event for the electric industry: retail choice — commonly, if less accurately, referred to as deregulation, which began in PJM in 1997 with Pennsylvania’s Electricity Generation Choice and Competition Act.