When it comes to your electricity, the service AEP Ohio provides is just one piece of the power puzzle. While we deliver the electricity to your homes and businesses, we first work with PJM to generate the power.
Who is PJM?
PJM Interconnection serves as the grid operator for more than 65 million people across 13 states – including Ohio. One of their primary responsibilities is to manage the high-voltage electricity grid to ensure reliability.
PJM uses more than 85,000 miles of high voltage transmission lines across its territory to move electricity from generating units and into large substations that reduce the electricity’s voltage. From there, the electricity can be distributed further — ultimately to local distribution points — which is where AEP Ohio comes in and distributes the power to your homes and businesses.
How do PJM and AEP Ohio work together?
When managing the electric system, PJM acts as the “air-traffic control” for power. They monitor the power grid 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Every hour, they work to determine how much electricity is needed and ensure they are able to meet demand from available generation and additional resources. Then, as actual demand changes in real time, PJM adjusts the generation levels while maintaining the transmission system at a safe operating capacity.
When there are unusual changes to the power supply and demand, PJM is the decision-maker in how we respond. If they are worried the grid could become overloaded and fail to meet needs, they will ask us at AEP Ohio to prompt customers to conserve as much energy as possible. If the grid is already overloaded and on the verge of causing irreversible damage or widespread blackouts, PJM will likely direct AEP Ohio to conduct forced power outages.
While we never want to force power outages or ask you to conserve energy, sometimes weather conditions or other outside factors cause us to do so to protect the integrity of the power grid. In these instances, and in conjunction with PJM, we will always work to provide you with real time information and give you a heads up about potential power issues.
Watch this video to learn more about how our electric system works.