According to the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), only 86 GW of fossil fuel-based electricity projects are awaiting interconnection, while 1,700 GW of solar, wind and storage are delayed.
An “unprecedented high” number of interconnection requests last year for utility-scale renewable energy and storage projects “continues to add to backlogged interconnection lines,” FERC says in a recent report.
Based on preliminary data compiled by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, FERC says there are now about 1,730 GW of active utility-scale solar, wind and storage projects in transmission system operator interconnection lines. That’s almost 400 GW more than the roughly 1,350 GW announced by Berkeley Lab at the end of 2021.
Solar, wind and storage projects on interconnection lines account for nearly 94 percent of total line capacity, with solar accounting for more than half of that amount, according to the report.
The total capacity of the queues exceeds 1,366 GW of production, 325 GW of standalone storage and 159 GW of hybrid storage and production capacity. These values include 84 GW of natural gas and 2 GW of coal capacity.
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has estimated that 24 percent of projects seeking interconnection between 2000 and 2020 were subsequently built, according to the report. The PJM grid operator, which serves a larger population than any other grid operator, has estimated that 5% of the projects now in its interconnection queue will be built.
The FERC staff report noted that the cost of interconnection “has increased substantially over time with the cost of more extensive grid upgrades accounting for nearly all of this increase,” and provided a chart close to Berkeley Lab’s. The report added that solar, wind and storage costs are higher than natural gas.
Continue reading by visiting pv-lehti USA website.