As PJM prepares for winter, it aims to learn from January 2014 polar vortex
Cold weather preparation was among the topics covered Wednesday during a PJM Interconnection subcommittee meeting, where engineers and staff discussed the grid operator’s cold weather procedures exercise, seasonal fuel survey and extended transmission outages for winter 2017-18.
PJM’s Generation Resource Operational Exercise is designed to allow units to identify and correct start-up, operational and fuel switching issues prior to cold weather operations, according to a presentation given by Ray Lee, generation senior engineer.
Extremely cold temperatures during the January 2014 polar vortex required enacting emergency procedures on multiple days to maintain adequate supply to meet the system’s demand and reserve requirements.
“Coincident with the cold weather and high demand, generator-forced outages and failures to start were significantly higher than expected,” according to PJM’s Manual 14D: Generator Operational Requirements.
The grid operator’s forced outage rate reached as high as 22% (about 40,000 MW) during the January 6-8, 2014, operating days due to mechanical problems and natural gas deliverability.