PJM coordinates the planning process for connecting new projects, analyzes their reliability impacts and oversees the construction of the required facilities.
The PJM transmission system provides the means for delivering the output of interconnected generators to load centers for end-use customer consumption. PJM’s successful interconnection process continues to ensure the reliability of new capacity resources and accommodate the interconnection of new projects. These include generation, merchant transmission and transmission service.
“PJM’s queue process continues to evolve,” said Aaron Berner, manager – Interconnection Analysis. “We recognize the needs of prospective customers with new and changing types of resources and adapt to provide this changing mix of resources the ability to connect to the system while maintaining system reliability.
“The decision to build a new electric generating plant or a transmission line is significant. Projects can be costly and time-consuming and will need to go through regulatory approval processes in order to sight their facilities and bring any new resources into operation.”
PJM’s process recognizes these challenges. It allows customers flexibility in developing construction schedules while also taking into consideration this flexibility’s effect on overall operation of the grid and its ability to deliver power reliably.
Each phase of the process establishes various milestone responsibilities for the developer, PJM and each transmission owner impacted by the interconnection request. From the developer’s perspective, the process is structured such that proceeding with each phase imposes increasing financial obligations. A developer has the right to withdraw at any point.
The process begins with the submission of an interconnection request to PJM from a party proposing a new generating facility or an increase in the capability of an existing generating facility. Basically, PJM has a single integrated queue for all customers who want to use the grid in some way and manages them in queue order.
- Proposal – New project proposals are entered in a calendar-based queue. PJM runs two six-month new service queues per year (May-October and November-April).
- Feasibility Study – PJM conducts a feasibility study to estimate interconnection costs and construction time and provides feedback to the project developer.
- System Impact Study – PJM conducts impact studies to perform more detailed analyses and develop more precise estimates for system upgrade costs and timing.
- Interconnection Facilities Study – Detailed design work is performed for all required network transmission upgrades and attachment facilities.
- Interconnection Service Agreement or Wholesale Market Participation Agreement – These agreements are executed among the generation developer, the transmission owner to which the generator will be interconnected and PJM.