PJM, the largest wholesale electric marketplace in the entire world and the regional transmission organization that must keep the lights on, announced on friday the results of its latest RPM or capacity auction. RPM resources are commitments to provide service--supply or demand reduction--to keep the system reliable 3 years hence.
When the "envelopes" were opened, demand response, renewable energy, and energy efficiency represented 68% of the new capacity offered and over 10% of all resources clearing the auction. See newsroom at www.pjm.com.
The RPM auction cleared 149,974 megawatts of resources of which 14,118 MW were demand response, 822 MW energy efficiency, 695 MW of wind, 45.6 MW of solar. Green Power not only is clean but also saves consumers hundreds of millions of dollars by lowering the capacity charges consumers pay. How, you may ask?
Had the more than 15,500 megawatts of demand response, energy efficiency, wind, and solar not bid into the PJM auction RPM prices paid by consumers would have much higher. These resources also lead to much lower market wind energy prices. To say the least Green Power is a friend to consumers, big and small, as well as the environment.
Since wind and solar are intermittent, a fraction of their total power is counted toward reliability requirements. For reliability standards, 12% of total wind is counted and 38% of total solar. The total wind power represented in the auction was an impressive 5,349 MW and total solar equaled 120 MW.
Most small solar systems did not participate in the PJM RPM auction, but represent a great deal of total solar power within PJM. Aggregating these systems so that they could bid into the auction is another Green Power growth and business opportunity.