World Resource Institute

PJM Cities & Communities Coalition

The PJM Cities and Communities Coalition (PJM CCC) is the first formal coalition of local governments with ambitious clean energy goals organized to drive decarbonization at the wholesale electricity market level. These leading cities and communities are dedicated to pursuing solutions to climate change, reducing carbon emissions and removing barriers to low-carbon solutions in their regional wholesale electricity market—the PJM Interconnection.

Current member cities include Alexandria, VA; Charlottesville, VA; Chicago, IL; Newark, NJ; Philadelphia, PA; Pittsburgh, PA; Richmond, VA and Washington, DC.

PJM CCC membership is open to any local government in the PJM territory.

PJM CCC is a standalone organization comprised of member cities, and WRI supports the group's organizational management.

Opportunity

PJM Interconnection is the wholesale market operator for much of the Mid-Atlantic region and parts of the Midwest, which includes numerous cities and communities with ambitious climate action goals. In 2019, PJM’s electricity generation consisted mostly of non-renewable energy resources, including 23.8% coal, 33.6% nuclear and 36.2% natural gas. Renewable energy sources represent an insignificant portion of PJM’s electricity generation portfolio at around 3%. PJM operations and market rules are creating a capacity glut of fossil fuels that may lock out development of low-carbon resources and increase consumer costs. While these trends directly threaten clean energy goals set by cities and communities, their representation and voices have been largely absent from wholesale market level dialogues.

Cities and communities play a unique role in their market regions because they are both large consumers of energy and represent the interests of their residents. Across the U.S., cities are emerging as clean energy leaders and have procured over eight gigawatts of renewable energy over the last five years. This leadership is catalyzing action across smaller communities and other public institutions. Cities and communities are also well-positioned to incorporate important goals (such as equity goals) into clean energy solutions, advocate on behalf of the consumers in their territory and work holistically on concurrent decarbonization strategies, such as large-scale renewable energy procurement, electrification and efficiency measures.

Mission and Value to Members

The PJM Cities and Communities Coalition launched in 2018 to coordinate the efforts of local governments in the PJM territory that are interested in removing and preventing barriers to decarbonization solutions in their regional wholesale electricity market.

PJM CCC supports cities in their clean energy efforts by:

  • Supporting and preserving policies that open markets to zero-emission energy sources and storage;
  • Ensuring organizational and governance reforms so that cities and other end users can equitably weigh in on key decisions that affect their constituencies;
  • Focusing on maintaining access, transparency and accountability in PJM governance and operations; and
  • Aligning PJM’s long-term planning to be consistent with global climate science, consumer demand for clean energy and city climate goals.

PJM CCC recognizes that significant barriers have historically limited the ability of cities and communities to engage in the wholesale market, including the high level of market expertise required to participate, inadequate educational resources and limited staff capacity.

To overcome these issues, PJM CCC offers members:

  • Education and capacity-building opportunities in monthly calls featuring subject matter experts and a bi-monthly policy committee call;
  • Partnerships with and contacts at similarly-aligned organizations; and
  • Collective work to formulate solutions and drive decarbonization within the PJM region.

Resources


For more information or to get involved, contact info@pjmccc.org