T&D World Magazine

PJM Interconnection Switches to Dual-Primary Control Centers

PJM Interconnection has completed the switchover to new advanced technology systems to run the power grid and wholesale power markets. The new systems are part of the Advanced Control Center (AC2) program that equipped PJM with state-of-the-art control centers -- each fully functional and able to run the system independently if needed.

The $200 million-program was realized through more than five years of design, development and testing. PJM initiated the program to raise its systems to new standards for security and resiliency while recognizing that fundamental change – innovations beyond marginal improvements in existing control systems – would be necessary to maintain reliability of one of the most critical societal services, electricity, and to ensure the continuity of the $35 billion/year wholesale electricity markets that PJM administers.

PJM's AC2 program improves the reliability of the grid and market operations by replacing aging legacy systems with state-of-the-art technology. PJM is the only grid operator in North America, and one of the few worldwide, to have dual primary control centers. The AC2 program reduces risk because the two fully staffed primary control centers better ensure uninterrupted operation of markets and grid control if functionality were lost at either center.

AC2 improves the management of data and will integrate smart grid applications, encourage demand response and other resources for managing grid loads. Many legacy systems had been in place since before PJM's membership more than doubled.

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