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June’s PJM Events and the Importance of Demand Response

Find out about the important contributions of Enel X’s demand response customers in June’s PJM events.

August 10, 2022

Key Takeaways:

  • On June 14, 15 and 16, PJM declared a series of emergency actions and called demand response events for approximately 20 hours 
  • Demand response events have been growing in recent years, and this event was notable because of the rarity of demand response events in PJM
  • Demand response events have increased in recent years, and demand response participants can earn revenue while helping the stability of their local grid – contact us to find out more 


Demand response has long been a critical part of helping grid operators ensure a stable grid, and in recent years that importance has been growing. Last year, we saw a significant increase in demand response events. And with expectations for another busy summer ahead, June saw a notable event -- a rare demand response event in the PJM Interconnection. 


PJM is still investigating the event, but it’s already clear important contributions from Enel X customers and other participants helped to prevent a worse emergency. In a hearing with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, Michael Bryson, Senior Vice President – Operations for PJM, said that without demand response, “I think it's likely that we would have had to interrupt more customer load on PJM facilities.”  


The Background

On June 14, 15 and 16, PJM, the regional transmission organization for a variety of states in the mid-Atlantic and Midwest, declared a series of emergency actions in the AEP-Marion subregion, which is in and around Columbus, Ohio. 


Temperatures in the Columbus area reached 95 degrees on June 14 and 15, conditions that typically put stress on the grid. The emergency began when thunderstorms knocked out multiple 136-kV transmission lines near Columbus, and then high temperatures (and the accompanying high loads from cooling demand) caused issues with power flows. 


Ultimately, PJM instructed AEP to shed load through limited service interruptions, to prevent other transmission lines overloading and causing a cascading issue.


How Enel X Customers Helped Through Demand Response

Enel X customers delivered during the event and provided significant curtailment on all three days. In total, the demand response events lasted approximately 20 hours – the longest emergency in PJM in years. Because the problem occurred in a partially suburban area, few other resources were available to the localized grid, making demand response especially crucial in this situation.  


We applaud our customers for their effort – it made a real difference. As Bryson testified to the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, “Any response that we could get from demand response could offset either overloads or customer interruptions on almost a one-to-one basis. So it gave us a tool to at least help reduce the impact.”


What’s Ahead This Summer

As we’re now in the hottest days of summer, many more demand response events lie ahead. Many regions of the country are at high risk due of grid instability, as the North American Electric Reliability Corp pointed out in its 2022 Summer Reliability Report – most notably, MISO has potential for significant reliability risks and accompanying demand response events, while the report also placed nearly the entire western United States, including California and Texas, at elevated risk.


Demand response not only creates significant payments for participating organizations, but it also helps make a serious contribution to the reliability of energy in local communities. Find out more about how much you could earn in demand response by using our demand response calculator.