07 Apr 2023

Interconnection Requests Surged in 2022 Adding to Deep Backlog

07 Apr 2023  by renewableenergyworld   

Voltage transmission lines above city. Courtesy National Grid ESO.
Requests to connect to the U.S. transmission grid grew by 40% in 2022, including nearly 2,000 GW of solar and energy storage resources, according to a report from the Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory.

The surge adds to an already deep backlog of interconnection requests throughout the U.S., despite major slowdowns in CAISO and PJM, two of the largest grid regions. In order to manage its backlog, CAISO did not accept any new requests last year, while PJM won’t review any new requests until at least 2025 as the grid operator wrangles with a litany of procedural issues.

The slowdowns in CAISO and PJM were offset by substantial growth in the non-ISO West, MISO, and ERCOT markets.

Regional distribution of proposed solar, wind, storage, and gas capacity (Courtesy: LBNL)

Solar, battery storage, and wind accounted for 95% of the proposed capacity in 2022. In total, 947 GW of solar, 300 GW of wind, and 670 GW of storage capacity are currently seeking grid connection.

Hybrid power plants continue to be of high interest to developers, especially solar paired with storage. At least 456 GW of solar capacity in the queues is proposed as a hybrid plant (48% of all solar in the queues), as is 24 GW of wind (8% of all wind in the queues). An estimated 358 GW of battery capacity is proposed in hybrid configurations with generation, representing 53% of all storage capacity in the queues.

and 81% of the cumulative proposed solar is in a hybrid configuration, respectively.

Based on statistical interconnection trends from 2007-2017, about 20% of projects, or 14% of overall capacity, are expected to be built.

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