Results of Study Show Reliability Problems for Nation’s Largest Electric Grid Operator

Washington, D.C. – A new study by Quanta Technology, “Ensuring Reliability: A Case Study of the PJM Power Grid,” analyzes the reliability of the PJM electric grid. PJM coordinates the flow of electricity across all or parts of 13 states and the District of Columbia. The study shows that, unless steps are taken immediately, PJM faces the possibility of violating two key indicators of grid reliability (resource adequacy and transmission security) that could require shutting off power to as many as 14 million homes.

“This new study illustrates the mounting challenges that PJM and other grid operators face as dependable sources of electricity, especially coal-fired power plants, continue to retire at an alarming rate,” said America’s Power President and CEO Michelle Bloodworth.

“Retiring coal plants are being replaced primarily by less dependable electricity sources.  For example, during last month’s winter storm, fossil fuels – the sources that are being forced to retire prematurely – provided more than 80% of the additional electricity that was needed in the hardest hit regions of the country when the storm peaked.  By comparison, wind and solar power that is replacing fossil fuels was able to increase its output by only 10%,” continued Bloodworth. 

“To protect electricity consumers, policy makers must make sure that dependable power sources do not shut down until equally dependable and affordable power sources have been added to the grid.  In addition, EPA should not issue regulations that will make our electricity supply less reliable or electricity prices higher.”

View the Quanta report and a short blog here. For additional information about coal-based electricity, please visit

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America’s Power is a partnership of industries involved in producing electricity from coal.