Understanding the Mid-Atlantic Power Marketplace (PJM)
The Power Joint and Common Market (PJM) operates North America's largest centrally dispatched control area and manages the world's largest competitive wholesale electricity market with more than 51 million people directly affected by the system every second of every day. There are also smaller regional PJMs across the USA.
Growth has been dramatic since 1993, when the PJM Interconnection Association had 10 members, served 22 million people in five states and the District of Columbia and had 55,575 megawatts (MW) of generating capacity. Today, with Allegheny Energy joining PJM in 2002, Commonwealth Edison, American Electric Power and Dayton Power & Light in 2004 and Duquesne Light Co. and Dominion in 2005, PJM has more than 350 members, serves a 164,260-square-mile territory in 13 states and the District of Columbia and has about 163,806 MW of generating capacity.
You can view realtime power demand and generation information by using the online tools from the PJM website - http://www.pjm.com
This gives a direct view of power generation at work. It is impressive.
It also shows the scale and nature of this system, and what comparatively tiny impact wind power can have, even if potentially every open windy hill top in the mid-Atlantic has a wind turbine stuck on it! Remember - to generate the equivalent of a conventional fossil fuel station you need 300 square miles of wind turbines, and a solid windy day.
Clearly consumers need to look to other sustainable and alternative fuels, such as waste wood products and agricultural waste (such as chicken litter straw and droppings) from which West Virginia alone estimates it has available 3,500,000 tons of wood and sawdust annually that is currently just being discarded.
Consumers can make a difference, and by insisting on power from sustainable sources instead of white elephant wind mines with giant 450' high turbines disfiguring natural wildlife areas, that are in turn being polluted by run-off that could instead be used for high efficiency energy production.