December 9, 2020

PJM Launches New 2020 Capacity Performance Program

By Iryna Soltys-Petrowsky, Energy Manager, Supply Advisory

The PJM ISO market is evolving in a way that aims to mitigate weather grid-related emergencies. In the past, PJM has isolated demand response (DR) events to summer months only, offering a handful of different programs end users could participate in. However, PJM has made some changes this year to help prevent emergencies like the Winter Polar Vortex of 2014.

This year marks the first time in which PJM has shifted entirely away from predominantly summer demand response programs, which expired in June 2020, to only offering one program, “Capacity Performance”. This Capacity Performance program requires year-round DR availability from its participants, a shift from the previous summer-only events.

Key program changes:

  • The new program is designed to keep the lights on during extreme cold periods. By extending the program year-round, PJM will be able to prevent scrambling to ensure gird reliability during another winter polar vortex event.
  • The Capacity Performance program allows participants flexibility by offering terms that suit their production capabilities.
    • Participants have a Firm Service Level (FSL) volume which their facility requires in order to maintain minimum production levels.
    • The amount the facility commits to drop usage down to during DR events can be different during Summer and Winter periods but must be predetermined at the time of enrollment.
    • Because customers contribute different seasonal load values, if their curtailment service provider can find an offsetting match for the lesser of the two seasonal values within the particular zone, year-round participation is possible, even if they have no winter load.
  • Capacity Performance has a more favorable performance adjustment for emergency events.
  • The new Capacity Performance program hours are different, see chart below.


This year is the first year that PJM is launching the Capacity Performance Program. As with most new programs, PJM will likely find lessons in the new year-round program and adjust in the following years.

Contact Edison today for more information on PJM’s Capacity Performance program!