PJM Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

PJM Info-Connection

PJM Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

For posted materials and meeting information on PJM’s coronavirus-related efforts, visit the Pandemic Coordination page.

August 12, 2020 12:20 p.m.

PJM reports the following updates:

PJM Campus

  • PJM has decided to extend its current work-from-home posture until January 2021 because of increases in COVID-19 cases for the well-being of our employees, members and stakeholders, as well as to ensure the safe operation of the grid.
  • This decision will not impact daily work with members and stakeholders.
  • PJM will continue our work remotely and will continue to hold stakeholder meetings virtually while the campus will remain closed to members, stakeholders and other visitors.

June 23, 2020 5:30 p.m.

PJM reports that it has ended its sequestration of operators as of June 23.

June 12, 2020 12:20 p.m.

PJM reports the following updates:

PJM Campus and Operations

  • PJM continues the implementation of the three-stage (red, yellow, green) approach to mirror Pennsylvania’s phased approach. At any time, changing virus conditions may result in a return to actions and precautions implemented during prior phases.
  • Once PJM reaches green-phase conditions, and pending continuing review and risk assessment, PJM will return between 5–15 percent of its workforce to campus after Sept. 7, and continue with a phased-in return of 5–15 percent of the workforce monthly.
  • As PJM continues the implementation of the three-phase approach to returning to campus, the safety of employees remains paramount. Caution, flexibility and communication remain our guiding principles for our return-to-campus plans.
  • Notable changes to PJM’s campuses include temperature kiosks, designated entry and exit doors, Plexiglas barriers in public areas and masks worn at work sites.
  • Sequestered operation of a team in one of the three operating control rooms began on April 11 and continues, pending further review and responsive contingency planning. 

Load Impacts

  • Between late March and May 26, PJM experienced a decline of weekday peaks; a decline of about 10 percent – or about 9,000 MW – less than what would be expected, with changes in weather accounted for.
  • The most significant peak impacts over the period took place in the first half of May, down between 11 and 15 percent. Through June 3, peaks grew closer to expected levels, with declines ranging from under 1 percent to just over 10 percent.
  • Total daily energy use was down from just under 10 percent to nearly 14 percent in the first half of May, and fell between 6 and 11 percent from May 16 to June 3.
  • Weekdays continue to be impacted more than weekends for both peaks and energy usage.
  • Recent decreased COVID-19 impact is likely due to some combination of increasing economic activity and/or greater residential energy use with hotter temperatures.

May 27, 2020 9:35 a.m.

PJM reports the following updates:

Stakeholder Meetings

  • Based on Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s phased reopening plan and PJM’s Pandemic Plan, PJM has determined that it would not be prudent to hold stakeholder meetings on campus before Labor Day.
  • PJM will continue to hold committee and task force meetings remotely via Webex, as it has since March 16.
  • PJM continues to work on its return-to-campus plan in accordance with Gov. Wolf’s phased reopening plan.

PJM Campus and Operations

  • PJM continues in a companywide telecommuting posture.
  • PJM continues to work on its return-to-campus plan in accordance with Gov. Wolf’s phased reopening plan.
  • PJM’s return-to-campus plan has been developed under the guiding principles that personnel safety and the protection of reliable operations are paramount.
  • Continuity of reliable operations during the summer months is imperative for PJM.
  • Our plan contains three phases – red, yellow and green – and we are currently in the red phase.
  • We expect to be in the red and yellow phases throughout much of the summer.
  • During the red and yellow phases, most personnel will not be returning to campus.
  • We will likely begin bringing personnel back to campus in a phased manner beginning sometime after Labor Day.  

May 11, 2020 3:55 p.m.

PJM reports the following updates: 

Operations

  •  PJM continues to work on its return-to-campus plan in accordance with Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s plan.
  • Governor Wolf extended the stay-at-home order out to June 4 for counties in the red phase. Montgomery County, where PJM’s facilities reside, is one of those counties that will remain in the red phase.
  • No date has been set, though the Governor Wolf announced that no return to work in Southeast Pennsylvania could happen before June 4. PJM continues in a company-wide telecommuting posture.
  • All of PJM’s social-distancing and other coronavirus-related precautions, including return-to-campus plans, are being reviewed by an epidemiologist.
  • We continue to have a team of sequestered operators at one of our campuses, and to operate out of three control rooms.  

Load Impacts

  •  PJM updated the impacts to load in this slide presentation.
  • Since March 24, PJM has seen weekday peaks coming in about 10 percent – or about 9,000 MW – less than would be expected, with changes in weather accounted for. 
  • Weekday peak impacts have ranged from 6.5 percent to 15.2 percent (May 5). 
  • Total daily energy use is down to a lesser extent, about 7.9 percent on average since March 24.
  • Weekdays continue to be impacted more than weekends for both peaks and energy.
  • Related data is posted weekly on the PJM Pandemic Coordination page.

April 15, 2020 11:15 a.m.

PJM presented the following updates at the April 14 Planning Committee meeting:

Load Impacts

  • During weekdays, peak load – the highest point of electricity demand during a given day – registered approximately 8 to 10 percent under (or about 7,500 MW) what would be expected minus COVID-19 social distancing restrictions.
  • The impact on total daily energy use has been slightly less, with an average weekday decrease of about 7 percent, or about 140 GWh.
  • The most dramatic reductions in weekday energy usage were observed on March 26 and 27, at over 10 percent (around 9,500 MW per day) in the wake of acute, state-mandated shutdowns of business activity, travel and more.
  • During weekends, the negative impact caused by virus-related shutdowns is less, at about 2 to 4 percent, reflecting lighter load corresponding to traditional reductions in weekend business activity.
  • In general terms, the COVID-19 virus has smoothed out peaks compared to traditional hourly load patterns of late winter/early spring. Recent weekend peaks illustrate softer impacts, reflective of traditionally less intense weekend peak patterns.
  • PJM will report additional information at the April 16 Operating Committee.
  • PJM will discuss long-term forecasts and evolving load patterns at the May 5 Load Analysis Subcommittee.
  • For additional details, see this article on PJM’s Inside Lines news site.
  • Related data is posted weekly on the PJM Pandemic Coordination page.

April 6, 2020 3:35 p.m.

On April 3, PJM provided the following updates to members on the latest precautions PJM has put in place to maintain the safety and security of employees, stakeholders and the grid:

System Operator Seminar

  • Based on the latest guidance from public health experts and federal and state government, PJM has decided to cancel the remaining dates of the System Operator Seminar.
  • System operators who have concerns related to their training and certification requirements should contact TrainingSupport@pjm.com.

Stakeholder Meetings

  • PJM is extending Webex-only stakeholder meetings until at least May 6.

PJM Campus and Operations

  • PJM employees will continue to work-from-home until at least May 4, with the exception of system operators and other essential personnel.
  • PJM is equipping its campuses for sequestration, if needed, including the necessary logistics for an extended stay.
  • PJM is preparing its control room simulator be used as a third control room, only if needed, and determining what would be the best use of that facility.

Member Coordination

  • PJM is providing weekly updates for members on PJM’s approach to business rule waivers.
  • PJM continues to coordinate with both generation and transmission owners about scheduled maintenance outages.
    • While COVID-19 restrictions have not yet had a major impact on generator maintenance, some generators are reporting contractor crew shortage to due travel restrictions and parts shortages due to COVID-related supply chain issues.
    • Many generators are deferring or reducing the scope of longer planned outages and/or shifting work to shorter periods during off-peak hours
    • Transmission owners have not reported significant impact to maintenance schedules from coronavirus restrictions. However, PJM has an ongoing open request for transmission owners to inform PJM as soon as possible if COVID-19 related delays, such as personnel or supply chain issues, are expected to aid in the advanced rescheduling of the affected outages.

Load Impacts

  • Previous analysis has shown load coming in about 5-7 percent lower than historical trends. PJM expects that to increase and continues to analyze numbers to isolate weather impact vs. COVID-19 impact on load.
  • Data posted last week and the week prior compares actual load versus what one computer model predicts with actual temperatures added in after the fact, giving a result that accounts for weather. PJM is sharing this data with members and others but the analysis is not complete.
  • PJM will report additional information at the April 14 Planning Committee and the April 16 Operating Committee.
  • Data is posted weekly on the PJM Pandemic Coordination page.

March 24, 2020, 5:20 p.m.

On March 23 and 24, PJM provided the following updates on additional precautions PJM is taking in connection with the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak:

Weekly Stakeholder Briefings

  • PJM will hold weekly stakeholder briefings on PJM’s pandemic response.
  • The next briefing is scheduled for March 27 at 11 a.m. Please register to join the call.

Stakeholder Meetings

  • PJM has decided that it would not be prudent to hold the Annual Meeting in person this year, which was scheduled for May 4–5 in Chicago. PJM will hold the Members Committee meeting via Webex on May 4, 2020. PJM is discussing plans for other sessions on the agenda, and will communicate the outcome of those discussions with the relevant stakeholders.
  • PJM is extending the format of holding Webex-based stakeholder meetings until at least April 10.

System Operator Seminar

  • Based on guidance from public health experts, PJM has decided to cancel the next series of the PJM System Operator Seminar that was scheduled in Columbus, Ohio from March 31–April 24.
  • PJM will continue to provide updates on the remainder of the training.

PJM Campus and Operations

  • Operations planning has reported a “noticeable but not severe” decrease in load thus far due to coronavirus restrictions across the states. The drop has been around 5 percent and the load curve resembles a snow day. More details on PJM’s news site, Inside Lines.
  • PJM employees will continue its work-from-home policy until at least April 10, with the exception of system operators and other essential personnel.
  • PJM operators have been isolated from all support staff.
  • PJM’s control rooms continue to be disinfected daily.
  • As of March 21, Dispatch has moved to longer shifts to help minimize contact.
  • PJM has a dedicated liaison to the Emergency Operations Center for Montgomery County, PA.
  • PJM will continue reassess the situation on a weekly basis looking two weeks ahead. 

System Coordination

  • Operations is working with transmission owners and generation owners on any need to reschedule maintenance due to social distancing requirements.
  • Transmission owners will continue to evaluate and prioritize their own work. PJM will not request that transmission outages be canceled because of impacts from the virus but will work with TOs to reschedule them if staffing is not available.

March 18, 2020, 11:05 a.m.

In a message sent to PJM members on March 17, PJM provided the following updates on its interconnection’s policies, procedures and actions taken in connection with the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak:

System Operator Seminar

  • Based on guidance from public health experts, PJM has decided to cancel the next series of the PJM System Operator Seminar that was scheduled in Columbus, Ohio from March 31–April 24.
  • PJM will continue to provide updates on the remainder of the training.

Stakeholder Meetings

  • PJM is continuing to conduct meetings through Webex, which will include the March 26 MRC/MC meeting.
  • PJM continues to evaluate the Annual Meeting in May and will communicate a decision on that as soon as possible.

PJM Campus and Operations

  • PJM has implemented a work-from-home policy through March 27 for our employees with the exception of system operators and other shift personnel. PJM successfully tested its work-from-home capabilities on Friday, March 13, and the PJM markets, planning, stakeholder meetings and member relations can all be operated remotely.

Coordination Efforts

  • PJM continues to coordinate on an ongoing basis with other RTOs and ISOs, and agencies of the federal government and state governments, to maximize communication and coordination.
  • PJM is planning to have weekly calls with the generation, transmission and resource operators to provide an opportunity to share best practice preparations and gather issues to work on as we collectively manage through this difficult time.

March 12, 2020, 3:55 p.m.

The page will provide public information on PJM Interconnection’s policies, procedures and actions taken in connection with the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and will be updated periodically.

As previously communicated to members, PJM has implemented precautionary measures in response to the coronavirus outbreak. The company continues to closely monitor the guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization, the U.S. State Department and the local health department in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, while following its policy as outlined in PJM’s Communicable Disease and Pandemic Preparedness Plan. 

PJM recognizes that these measures have significant impacts to our staff, members and stakeholders. We are dedicated to striking a balance between those impacts and our number one priority – the reliability of the grid. 

Stakeholder Meetings

  • All stakeholder meetings will continue to be conducted via Webex only through Friday, March 27. This measure will be reevaluated weekly.
  • PJM is continuing to discuss the status of the PJM Annual Meeting, which currently is scheduled for May 4–5 in Chicago. PJM will make a conclusive decision on the meeting and report it to members by Friday, April 3.

Employee Travel

  • All business travel for PJM staff – both domestic and international – has been suspended.
  • Employees have been asked to report all personal international travel for themselves or any members of their household and to coordinate through the company’s Human Resources department for guidance or requirements to return to work.

PJM Campus and Operations

  • PJM has suspended all visits to its Valley Forge campus with the exception of essential vendors or business personnel who need to deliver critical items or services.
  • PJM personnel are equipped to work remotely, if necessary, to maintain business continuity.
  • PJM is prepared and able to run and support all market applications from its campus or remotely, as needed. 
  • Employees are being encouraged to work from home or to take time off if they feel ill, or are caring for someone who is ill, and to report any illness to Human Resources. If an employee or household member is at higher risk if they become ill (e.g., pregnant, immunocompromised), they will work with their manager and Human Resources for alternative work arrangements.
  • PJM continues to employ an enhanced cleaning process, including the use of a hospital-grade disinfectant.
  • Hand sanitizer dispensers are kept well-stocked throughout the PJM campus.
  • PJM continues to take additional operational measures to ensure grid reliability.

System Operator Seminar

  • PJM has cancelled the first three weeks of the PJM Operator Seminar, which was scheduled to begin in Baltimore on Tuesday, March 10, and will reevaluate the remainder of the class as soon as possible.