The PJM Interconnection is getting close to approving rules governing microgrids operated by distribution utilities or third parties on their behalf — what it calls public distribution microgrids.
After being approved by various stakeholder panels, the PJM’s Markets and Reliability Committee (MRC) is set to review the proposed rules at a December 17 meeting and potentially endorse them in January.
Once endorsed at the MRC the microgrid rules would be published in PJM’s Manual 14D and would become effective, according to Andrew Levitt, a senior market design specialist for the grid operator.
The rules remove a few PJM-side barriers to the development of a particular type of public microgrid on the distribution system, Levitt said.
The planned rules only apply to distribution-level microgrids, according to a December 3 presentation by the grid operator’s staff. The microgrids may not include any bulk electric system components or transmission facilities.
PJM defines public distribution microgrids
Under the planned rules, public distribution microgrids, or PDMs, must include load, one or more generators, one or more switches for isolating from and connecting to the broader grid, and a microgrid controller.
A PDM generator must sell its power to PJM, which operates the grid and power markets in 13 Mid-Atlantic and Midwest states and the District of Columbia.
When in island mode, the electric distribution company can operate the microgrid at the wholesale or retail level, according to the presentation.