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PJM Delays Capacity Performance Plan Vote

July 1, 2015 By Cheryl Kaften

Pursuant to a conference call on June 25, PJM Interconnection’s Markets and Reliability Committee (MRC) opted to delay an endorsement vote on proposed revisions to Manual 18 related to the Capacity Performance Plan.

Ray Dotter, manager-strategic communications at the Reading, Penn-based RTO, told Retail Energy Buyer, “There will be further discussion of changes to the manual at a special MRC session on July 15, before the MRC will be asked to endorse the manual revisions at the next full meeting on July 23.”

The delay was incorporated into the process because of stakeholder confusion and pushback at an MRC meeting on June 18 that reportedly ran for six hours, or double the time allotted on the formal agenda. Intransigent stakeholders at that session said there were more questions than answers about the drafted plan, and it required more work.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Committee (FERC) already had approved the proposal on June 6, noting that the changes were warranted in response to poor generator performance during the January 2014 Polar Vortex. Specifically, FERC pointed out, on the coldest day of 2014, 22 percent of the generation in PJM was unavailable to serve customers. Going forward, the committee said, it expected to see better generator performance and fuel assurance.

Introduced in the “PJM Capacity Performance Proposal” on August 14, 2014, “Capacity Performance … [ is intended to] enhance the incentives for capacity resources to be available when needed most, help reduce price spikes during system emergencies and reduce the chance of expensive forced outages,” the RTO said. “Capacity Performance provides clearly defined obligations for capacity resources and will enhance reliability at a reasonable cost.”

At this time, PJM plans to enforce the new obligations beginning with the 2018/19 and 2019/20 delivery years, when the RTO intends to make at least 80 percent of capacity procured Capacity Performance. The transition will be complete in 2020/21, when PJM expects 100 percent of capacity to be in place.

PJM Interconnection ensures the reliability of the high-voltage electric power system serving 61 million people in all or parts of Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. PJM coordinates and directs the operation of the region’s transmission grid, which includes 62,556 miles of transmission lines; administers a competitive wholesale electricity market; and plans regional transmission expansion improvements to maintain grid reliability and relieve congestion.

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