Choose Your Own Adventure: A Hospital's Dilemma

You chose the ‘Let-the-System-Do-the-Work’ Adventure:

Let’s review a hypothetical scenario that could occur based on your actions.

As you anticipated, your strategy of checking the same hours each day to participate PJM’s economic program in hope that your load is coincidentally low when electricity prices are high pays off.

The good news is you get paid…for a while.

However, it’s not long before you get a call from PJM, who’s a bit skeptical that you’re bidding into the market without voluntarily curtailing your load. You haven’t done anything illegal, but your participation falls outside of the RTO’s intentions for its economic program: to reward businesses who curtail their loads when called upon by PJM as a result of high electricity prices.

It turns out a handful of organizations are practicing this strategy. As a result, PJM is forced to reconsider the parameters of its economic program. Failing to arrive at a sound resolution after months of debate, the RTO agrees to suspend its economic program indefinitely.

You now have the dubious honor of being one of the facility managers responsible for eliminating one of the most popular demand response programs in the nation’s largest wholesale energy market. (You probably shouldn’t bring that up at trade shows or at your next department retreat.)

Of course, this is only a hypothetical scenario. Here’s what you could have done to keep your participation in PJM’s economic program in the spirit of the RTO’s intentions (and stay in the good graces of fellow facilities managers in PJM).

The scenario described in this article is hypothetical. It’s always a good practice to participate in the spirit of any demand response program. It’s also good practice to consult your curtailment service provider (CSP) before engaging in demand response or demand management programs. Contact CPower’s PJM team to consult your organization’s options for managing demand in PJM.