PJM Interconnection, the biggest U.S. power grid operator, has predicted that mounting electrification of transportation and industry will drive an increase in demand this year.

The grid operator in a report on Jan. 8 said it expected a load of 151,254 megawatt (MW) and 134,663 for 2024 summer and winter respectively. It also sees electricity demand growth at 1.7% per year for summer peaks and 2% for winter peaks.

"The PJM footprint has about 500,000 light-duty EVs in 2024, and S&P Global is forecasting about 23 million light-duty EVs by 2039, a growth rate of just under 30% annually during that period," the company said in a release.

PJM sees summer peak load increasing to 178,895 MW in 2034 and 193,123 in 2039. Similarly, the winter peak is expected to rise from 164,824 MW in 2034 to 178,241 MW in 2039.

"It also underscores the need to maintain and develop enough generation resources to serve that growing demand," said Kenneth S. Seiler, senior vice president of planning.

The U.S. eastern grid operator expects to clear 300 new power generation projects totaling 26,000 MW in 2024 under its overhauled review process.

The grid operator, which coordinates transmission across all or parts of 13 states from Indiana to Virginia, also identified an additional 46,000 MW of projects that should be able to clear its study process and be ready for construction by mid-2025.

Meanwhile, a settlement of $1.2 billion between PJM Interconnection and over 80 parties was accepted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in response to complaints regarding a significant outage that occurred during a winter storm in 2022.