PJM: Capacity Performance rules improved generator results, though less for coal and oil
PJM Interconnection has completed the first assessment of its new Capacity Performance (CP) generator standards, concluding that the enhanced payments and penalties did spur widespread improvements in generator performance — though not for coal and oil units.
The grid operator said it observed improvements of more than 50% in many operating parameters after the new standards were in place.
The new rules were implemented following widespread outages during the Polar Vortex of 2014, and now that winter event has been compared with the cold snap and bomb cyclone earlier this year.
The report comes with caveats: Capacity Performance won’t be fully implemented until the 2020-2021 delivery year; the winter comparisons are not exact; and PJM has only called one Performance Assessment Interval, during which it holds generators to the Capacity Performance deliverability standard.
All that aside, PJM concluded that “based on the data analyzed in this report, overall generator performance has improved from the inception of Capacity Performance to the present day.”
But improvements were not uniform. While gas generators showed improvements, “both coal and oil Capacity Performance resources showed no improvement in forced outage rates from the Polar Vortex to the cold snap,” PJM found. “Additionally … coal and oil Capacity Performance resources did not perform as well as their non-Capacity Performance counterparts.”
All fuel types had forced outage rates lower during the 2017-2018 cold snap than during the 2014 Polar Vortex peak, for both Capacity Performance and non-Capacity Performance resources. “The nuclear resources performed well during the cold snap, just short of their full capability due to several partial outages,” PJM found.
Understanding why coal and oil Capacity Performance resources failed to outperform non-Capacity Performance “requires some additional analysis,” PJM concluded.