Advanced Technologies & Innovation

Emerging Tech Initiatives Brochue

PJM embraces innovation and fosters collaboration on emerging grid technologies, concepts and trends that are shaping the future of the electric power industry and that will impact the PJM region.

The Emerging Technologies Forum (ETF) and Advanced Technology Pilot Program provide opportunities for innovators – including PJM staff, members, research and academic institutions, and industry experts – to advance power grid operations, system planning and wholesale electricity markets. These initiatives build on PJM’s history of innovation and reflect its commitment to community collaboration and enhancing the reliability and cost-effectiveness of the bulk power system.

Partner with PJM

PJM supports innovation in-house, in partnerships and through its Advanced Technology Pilot Program. If you have a project that you are in the process of developing or testing and are interested in collaborating with PJM through the Advanced Technology Pilot Program, please review the application process for new pilots DOC. If you have any additional questions, please contact PJM.

Learn more about PJM's and its partners' energy innovations on the PJM Learning Center or in PJM’s Advanced Technology Initiative brochure PDF.

Pilot Project Highlights

The technologies and concepts explored through the pilot program have demonstrated value to both PJM and the industry as a whole.

Active Projects
Elk Neck Battery Storage ‘Virtual Power Plant’

In December 2022, PJM partnered with Delmarva Power to explore how a new battery storage “virtual power plant” on the Elk Neck Peninsula in Cecil County, Maryland, will participate in the region’s wholesale market for ancillary services.

The project involves a residential community located on the Elk Neck Peninsula in the Chesapeake Bay. Each of the 110 homes involved is equipped with battery storage that can serve the energy needs of the individual homeowners or, aggregated and controlled together, provide reliability services to the local distribution system – as well as the RTO – by both charging and discharging from the grid.

Sunverge, a San Francisco-based provider of distributed energy resource (DER) control, orchestration and aggregation platforms, is collaborating with Delmarva on the project. The project will serve as a virtual power plant (VPP) and is the first battery energy storage residential VPP to participate in PJM’s wholesale markets.

The pilot program provides a unique use case for the PJM footprint, offering operational coordination with the aggregator and utility, locational modeling of DER and retail customer load interactions.

Next-Generation Dispatch Interactive Map Application

PJM continues to upgrade its previously deployed powerful tool, the Dispatch Interactive Map Application (DIMA), developed to enhance dispatchers’ situational awareness. DIMA simplifies and consolidates important data from multiple sources into a single geospatial display, enabling operators to more quickly and easily identify problems and coordinate the operation of the region’s transmission system. DIMA is now available to PJM Transmission Owners.

DIMA provides multiple layers of real-time information on several critical elements, including:

  • Electrical equipment – DIMA displays real-time information from the PJM energy management system about electrical equipment such as transmission lines, substations, generators and a host of other subsystems – all quickly configurable to suit the operator’s needs.
  • Weather – PJM operators can view historic and future radar, detailed temperature, wind and solar conditions, cloud coverage, severe weather such as lightning, floods and storms, and National Weather Service bulletins.
  • Gas infrastructure – Being able to quickly understand how potential disruptions of this fuel supply to generator and compressor stations could impact the operation of the power system is a critical skill for grid operators, as an increasing amount of generation comes from natural gas.
  • Load management – With the ability to provide reliability services alongside traditional generation resources, demand-side resources such as loads, behind-the-meter generation and energy storage are increasingly useful tools for operators to manage the grid.

Recent Pilot-to-Operational Project Highlights

Dynamic Line Ratings

Dynamic Line Rating (DLR) technology uses advanced sensors and software to monitor real-time conductor temperature along a transmission line. It then uses this data to calculate an actual rating for the line based on environmental conditions as opposed to modeled scenarios.

In this way, DLR technology can accurately measure capacity on transmission lines that could potentially relieve congestion and create economic efficiencies. Such technology also can contribute to system resilience by providing better monitoring of the real-time capabilities of transmission assets. 

In 2016, PJM partnered with American Electric Power and DLR technology companies LineVision and Lindsey to demonstrate the use of this technology and its potential benefits more widely. PJM and its partners undertook a one-year study of a hypothetical installation on one of its most congested lines. The analysis found that use of the technology could reduce system congestion payments by more than $4 million – providing a rapid two-month payback of the estimated $500,000 installation cost.

In October 2022, DLR data began streaming to PJM operators as part of a PPL Electric Utilities project for three transmission projects in northeastern Pennsylvania. PPL Electric Utilities estimates that this project can save customers $23 million annually in congestion costs.