PJM may need to double electricity output by 2040 — report

By Peter Behr | 06/04/2024 06:31 AM EDT

The study underscores the risk of diminished power reserves if demand grows too fast.

PJM Interconnection's control room is pictured in Pennsylvania.

Grid operators with PJM Interconnection monitor electricity use across more than a dozen states. PJM Interconnection

The nation’s largest grid operator may have to double its power plant output by 2040 if demand growth surges from data centers, factories and electric vehicles, according to a study released Tuesday.

PJM Interconnection, the power market for 65 million people in 13 Eastern and Great Lakes states, could face seriously diminished power reserves as soon as the end of the decade if demand grows too fast, new wind and solar power arrives too slowly, and coal- and gas-fired plants retire too soon, the study by the Americans for a Clean Energy Grid (ACEG) estimates. The organization advocates for carbon-free power to combat the climate change threat.

“We find that there will be a resource gap between current energy generation and estimated future energy needs within the PJM footprint,” based on its estimates of power supply and demand trends, the study said.


“To wait until the last minute to prepare for plant retirements … is absolutely the most expensive way to plan the system,” said ACEG Executive Director Christina Hayes.