PJM Performance Testing Changes – FAQ

August 31, 2022

In 2023, PJM is planning changes to the Capacity Performance demand response program to better validate the availability of resources to respond to events, year-round.

Here are the key things to know, and answers to questions you might have:

  • PJM will now decide when the performance test will be called. Previously, CPower and other DR providers were able to schedule the in-season performance test in advance. PJM will give CPower a week’s advance notice of the 2-week window that a test will be called, and a Day-Ahead notice of the actual test time. CPower will communicate with your team about when test events are coming with as much advance notice as possible.

  • PJM has extended the performance test to 2 hours. Customers will need to keep their load dropped through the duration of the 2-hour test.
  • In response to these new requirements, customers will now be paid for the energy they’re returning to the grid during the test based on the hourly Locational Marginal Price (LMP) In the past, energy payments were only provided during actual events.
  • PJM will test some capacity zones during the summer and other zones during the winter. All sites within a zone will be tested on the same day and will only be tested once during the power year. It is expected that half of the zones will be tested in the summer and half during the winter. The zones tested in each season will shift from year to year.
  • The timing of when your zone is tested may impact the schedule of your demand response payments.
  • As in previous years, if actual emergency events are called by PJM, payments will be based off real event performance. If a real event occurs before a test is completed, there will be no test in either season.

Why is PJM doing this?

PJM is strengthening the testing requirements for demand response to meet the changing needs of the grid. As the Capacity Performance program has evolved in recent years, PJM determined that the performance test should more closely resemble an actual emergency event, which would not have as much advance notice and would likely need more than anhour’s duration. These changes to the testing requirements bring the program closer to the testing requirements of other major demand response programs around the country (many of which provide no advance notice beyond what’s required for a real event).

Will we know in advance when our site(s) will be tested?

Yes. PJM will inform CPower a week in advance of the testing window and targeted zones. We will share all this information with your team as soon as it’s available. Additionally, PJM will provide a Day-Ahead notice of a planned test during the window, and the event will be dispatched on the testing day with proper notice, based on your registration lead time. Our team is always standing by to help your team stay ready to perform when called on.

If we are tested in Summer 2023, will we be tested again in the 23/24 Winter? Should we assume we will be tested in the Winter the following year?

No. Your site will only be tested once during the power year (June 23 – May 24), either in the Summer or Winter season. PJM will determine which zones are tested seasonally each year, and it is expected that these zones will change annually. CPower will continue to share what we know about PJM’s testing plans as we learn them.

What happens if we are unable to perform for the entire test period?

Your performance for the event will be averaged across the entire 2-hour test duration.

Our site is only enrolled to perform during the summer (or winter), will we always be tested during that season?

Yes. For those sites that are only seasonally available, you will only be tested during your performance season. If PJM is testing your zone in the off-season for your facility, CPower will schedule a separate performance test for your site.

If our site performs poorly, can we retest?

Our ability to re-test depends on the overall performance of all sites in a zone. As always, if your team is concerned about performance, please contact CPower for help.

When will we get paid for our participation in the program?

Customer payments for performance will begin in the quarter following settlement with PJM for measured test performance. This may vary from previous years, depending on when PJM schedules tests. Further detail in the below chart. If you have questions or concerns about how this impacts your organization, please contact the CPower team.

For each Program Period, customers will receive payment according to the table below.  All payments are contingent on CPower’s receipt of payment from PJM. 

PJM Test or Event Month Payment for Q1 Payment for Q2 Payment for Q3 Payment for Q4
June October January April July
July October January April July
August November January April July
September January January April July
October January January April July
November February February April July
December March March April July
January April April April July
February May May May July
March June June June July
April (event only) July July July July
May (event only) August August August August

Note:  The PJM test will occur between June 1 and March 30 in each Program Year.

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Team CPower

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