PJM seeks sources to restart electric system

Valley Forge, Pennsylvania - Valley Forge, Pennsylvania – PJM Interconnection, the operator of the largest North American power grid, has launched a broad initiative to ensure the best mix of resources to restart the grid in the unlikely event that power would be lost across the entire system.

Restoring the system would require generators that can start up without an outside source of power and deliver electricity to the grid. It’s known in the utility industry as black start service. These resources provide the initial power to the transmission system to restart other generators.

Recently, PJM issued a request for proposals as part of its first five-year selection process for black start service. The 90-day market window for proposals will be open until September 2013.

“The purpose of the RFP is to investigate other black start options beyond what we currently have in order to have the most effective balance of black start resources,” said Michael J. Kormos, PJM executive vice president – Operations.

“We re-examined black start service and system restoration approaches in light of several developments such as new state and federal environmental regulations, which are causing the retirement of a significant number of existing black start generators. This RFP results from the new strategy developed by stakeholders, PJM and the independent market monitor working together for more than a year.”

PJM will examine the proposals it receives and make selections based on needs, capability of units, location of units and cost. Existing black start generators are expected to continue providing black start service under their current commitment terms.


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