Energy consumption is rising in ODEC-served regions. In fact, ODEC experienced more than 26 percent growth in electricity sales over the last 10 years and expects additional growth over the next decade.
Further, Maryland’s fleet of power generation facilities faces challenges. The state imports 42 percent of its power from outside the state, making it the fifth largest energy importer in the United States. Two-thirds of the power generated in Maryland comes from power plants that are at least 30 years old and approaching retirement. Such plants are generally less efficient, less environmentally friendly and costlier to maintain.
These challenges are not limited to Maryland. PJM Interconnection, the regional electric grid that serves 13 states including Maryland, Delaware and Virginia, is projected to lose 16,170 megawatts of power through 2021 as older power plants are retired. Moreover, as shown in the chart below, PJM’s peak demand for electricity is expected to increase very significantly through 2028.
Wildcat Point is the solution. The facility will increase ODEC’s supply of owned generation assets and reduce the need to buy costlier power from the market. It would be powered by natural gas, a clean and domestically plentiful form of energy used to create electricity. By utilizing combined-cycle technology, Wildcat Point will be significantly more energy efficient than traditional simple-cycle power plants. It will even benefit non-ODEC customers in the region by improving reliability on the PJM electric grid.