NatGas, Coal, Nuclear Power Save Largest US Grid As Emergency Alert Declared For Second Day

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by Tyler Durden
Friday, Jul 28, 2023 - 08:53 PM

 Update (1653ET):

PJM Interconnection is being saved by natural gas, coal, and nuclear power generation as temperatures surpass 100 degrees Fahrenheit across the Mid-Alantic. 

Power prices surge in some parts of the PJM as customers crank up their air conditioners. 

PJM's load forecast is currently around 144,363 megawatts as of 0419 ET. 

Some say the world is "boiling," ... others might say it's summer in the Northern Hemisphere. 

Where is the power generation from renewable sources? It appears that fossil fuels and nuclear power generation are doing the heavy lifting to ensure the grid doesn't collapse. 


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Update (Friday):

PJM Interconnection LLC declared another Energy Emergency Alert Level 1 through Friday. Excessive heat advisories and warnings cover much of PJM's grid across 13 states, from Illinois to New Jersey, with over 65 million customers. 

Here's a map of the PJM grid: 

The latest National Weather Service data shows that advisories and warnings for heat plague most of PJM's grid. 

"PJM has issued these alerts to help prepare generators for the onset of intense heat," the grid operator said. 

This is the second day the largest US grid operator declared a level one emergency. On Thursday, PJM's preliminary peak load was around 148,000 megawatts and is forecasted to peak at around 155,000 megawatts later on Friday.

PJM expects hot weather to persist through Saturday. Bloomberg data shows average temperatures across the Lower 48 are expected to peak on Saturday and possibly revert to 5-10-30-year averages. Also, notice how the yearly temperature averages have plateaued for the Northern Hemisphere summer. 

"A Hot Weather Alert helps to prepare transmission and generation personnel and facilities for extreme heat and/or humidity that may cause capacity problems on the grid. Temperatures are expected to be near or above 90 degrees in these regions, which drives up the demand for electricity," the grid operator said. 

How did PJM become so unreliable all of a sudden? Well, PJM published a study earlier this year that showed the alarming trend of state and federal decarbonization policies across the grid that "present increasing reliability risks during the transition, due to a potential timing mismatch between resource retirements, load growth and the pace of new generation entry."

So before corporate media blames 'climate change' for power grid woes, remember decarbonization policies have sparked these instabilities. 


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A heat wave continues to blast the Midwest, Northeast, and South through the end of the work week, forcing the largest US grid operator to declare a level one emergency for Thursday as tens of millions of people crank up air conditioners to escape scorching temperatures as summer in the Northern Hemisphere peaks. 

On Wednesday evening, PJM Interconnection LLC declared an Energy Emergency Alert Level 1 in 13 states that stretch from Illinois to New Jersey with over 65 million customers. PJM is concerned about maintaining adequate power reserves on Thursday as power demand is set to soar because of air conditioners. It expects demand to reach 153,286 megawatts as of 1700 ET and has about 186,000 megawatts of generating capacity. 

The power mix of the grid shows natural gas, coal, and nuclear are doing most of the heavy lifting of 0600 ET. Power prices across the grid appear normal.  

The surge in above-average temperatures for the Lower 48 is expected to peak on Friday and return to normal levels for this time of the year. According to Bloomberg data, 5-10-30-year average temperatures show the Northern Hemisphere summer has peaked. 

Before corporate media blames "human-induced climate change" on power grid woes, we must note PJM's reliability has worsened because of federal and state decarbonization policies