- How does electricity demand vary over the day and year?
Electricity demand increases during the workday as more businesses, schools and industries open. Over the day the electricity demand increases until late afternoon at which time the load begins to decrease as businesses, industries and schools close for the day. This peak is more dramatic in the summer as temperatures increase with an increasing air conditioning load. In the winter there is a different peak in the evening as people come home and turn on the lights and other appliances.
- How is electricity delivered in New Jersey?
Wholesale electricity moves between 13 states coordinated by a regional transmission organization known as PJM, which serves approximately 51 million people and dispatches 164,900 MW of generating capacity over 56,250 miles of transmission lines.
- What is a Megawatt (MW)?
A megawatt (MW) is a unit of electric capacity or electric load. A MW is equal to 1,000 kilowatts (kW). Generators depending on size have rated capacities reported as MW, kW or watts. The load of electric equipment such as light bulbs, homes, businesses and industries are rated in kW or watts. The capacity of all the operating electric generators must match the required load at the time. PJM insures that this happens. An average home load is 2 to 4 kW.
- What are Megawatt-hour (MWh) and kilowatt-hours (kWh)?
A megawatt-hour (MWh) is a unit of measure of electric energy. A MWh is 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh). An MWh is the amount of electricity generated by a one megawatt (MW) electric generator operating or producing electricity for one hour. On an electric bill, electricity usage is commonly reported in kilowatt-hours. Ten 100 watt light bulbs left on for on hour use one kWh of electricity and at an electric rate of 11.5 cents per kWh this costs 11.5 cents.
- What is PJM?
PJM stands for the Pennsylvania, Jersey, Maryland Power Pool. It is the electricity control area (the electric grid) for New Jersey and all or parts of 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. All electricity essentially comes from PJM regardless of the state in which it was generated. PJM insures that there is enough power to meet expected customer electricity demand at all times plus an additional reserve margin above the peak demand is ready and deliverable in the control area and ensures the reliability of the electric grid and monitors the market to prevent market powers/manipulation.
- How does PJM dispatch electricity over the day?
Conventional nuclear or coal power plants are called on first because of their relative low cost to operate and ability to deliver power into the grid at all times and are called baseload plants. Others plants operate as “spinning” reserves waiting to be called on by PJM as the load increases during the day. They are backed off as the load decreases at the end of the day. Most natural gas plants operate in this manner because they have higher operating costs and can deliver energy quicker when called on by PJM. PJM insures the lowest cost electricity is dispatched first.
- What is the FERC?
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is an independent federal agency that regulates the transmission of electric energy in interstate commerce and the sale of electric energy at wholesale in interstate commerce. The FERC does not regulate facilities used for the generation of electric energy or facilities used in local distribution.
FERC must approve any PJM proposed changes to the wholesale electricity markets or to PJM’s transmission planning parameters, including cost allocations for such transmission.
FERC claims the authority to approve the siting of a transmission line where a state denies transmission siting approval or where the state takes more than one year to site the transmission line.