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U.S. Grid Operator’s Tripling Annual Load Growth Forecast for Next Decade Biggest U.S. grid operator envisions a tripled annual load growth forecast over the next decade

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Anticipating a massive surge in electricity consumption, top U.S. power grid operator PJM Interconnection has substantially revised its growth projections for the next decade. The company is catapulting its expectations for electricity use, banking on increased electrification of transportation and industry within its footprint.

PJM Interconnection’s Bold Projections

In its recently released annual load report on Monday, PJM stunned industry observers by revealing an unprecedented surge in anticipated electricity demand. The report projects a load of 151,254 MW and 134,663 for 2024 summer and winter, respectively.

The most astounding revelation, however, was the anticipation of annual electricity demand growth averaging 1.7% for summer peaks and 2% for winter peaks through 2034. This substantial surge represents a drastic escalation from the modest 0.4% and 0.7% growth, respectively, projected in the previous year’s forecast.

The report also disclosed PJM’s forecast of a summer peak load rising to 178,895 MW and the winter peak climbing to 164,824 MW by 2034.

Additionally, the grid operator expects electricity use in its footprint to jump by 2.4% annually throughout the following decade, significantly higher than the 0.8% growth expectations revealed in the previous year’s forecast. Of particular note, the report speculates that electric vehicle load will soar to nearly 13,530 MW by 2034, a substantial bump from the current ~500 MW.

Zones with Highest Growth Projections

The PJM report also pinpointed zones within its footprint expected to experience the highest annual 10-year net energy growth rates over the coming decade. The notable frontrunners include Dominion Energy (D) at 7.4%, First Energy’s (FE) Metropolitan Edison at 3%, Jersey Central Power & Light at 2.7%, American Electric Power (AEP) at 2.1%, and Public Service Electric & Gas (PEG) at 2%.

Implications for Utilities Sector

This seismic shift in electricity demand is set to have resounding implications for the utilities sector. With the potential for significantly heightened electricity usage in the coming years, utilities companies are positioned to capitalize on this burgeoning demand. Evidently, the surge in electric vehicle adoption and expanding industrial electrification are anticipated to be pivotal drivers in this exponential growth trajectory.

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