Generator Interconnection Costs to the Transmission System - Summary Briefing
Berkeley Lab has published a series of briefs analyzing interconnection cost trends across five U.S. wholesale electricity markets. The series employs extensive data collection (2500+ project-level interconnection cost estimates) and analysis for MISO, PJM, SPP, NYISO, and ISO-NE. The data provides developers, regulators, policymakers, and other stakeholders with critical insights about interconnection cost data that are often difficult and inefficient for the public to obtain. This presentation offers a summary of the analyses followed by key results for each market. We find:
- Interconnection queues have exploded over the past years, resulting in lengthy study processes with high applicant withdrawal rates.
- Interconnection cost estimates are not available as pre-request information but require a lengthy interconnection study process. Final cost estimates remain difficult to collect.
- Interconnection costs have grown substantially over time in all studied regions.
- Projects that have completed all required interconnection studies have the lowest cost compared to applicants still actively working through the interconnection process or those that have withdrawn.
- Upgrade requirements of the broader transmission system are the primary cost driver.
- Many projects facing high interconnection costs withdraw from the queue.
- Renewables and storage projects have higher interconnection costs than natural gas power plants.
- Larger generators have greater interconnection costs in absolute terms, but economies of scale can exist on a per kW basis.
- Interconnection costs vary by location
This work was funded, in part, under the U.S. Department of Energy’s Interconnection Innovation e-Xchange (i2X)