PJM’s reformed interconnection process has reached another landmark and is expected to clear 300 new generation projects totaling 26,000 MW in 2024, marking significant progress in the integration of renewables and other generation in the nation’s largest electric grid.
PJM also identified another 46,000 MW of nameplate generation capacity in projects that should clear PJM’s study process and be ready for construction by mid-2025, for a total of 72,000 MW of projects, mostly renewable and battery resources, expected to complete the process by that time.
“Interconnection process reform is delivering on the commitment made by PJM and its stakeholders to speed the study process for the thousands of new generation projects to connect with the PJM grid,” said Ken Seiler, Sr. Vice President of Planning. “While siting and supply chain issues continue to slow the development of new generation resources, there will be a growing number of projects approved for interconnection in the near term.”
At the end of 2023, about 40,000 MW of projects that had completed the PJM study process had yet to move through construction, due to issues including siting, supply chain and financing.
PJM’s new interconnection process was implemented in July, with 734 projects eligible to be evaluated in the first step. Of those, 118 either dropped out of the process or did not post sufficient readiness requirements by the due date, clearing the queue of projects that were less certain to be developed but still requiring the same time and resources from PJM.
The remaining 616 projects fell evenly into two workstreams: 308 projects with lesser impact to the system qualified for an Expedited Process, or “Fast Lane,” with final documentation to be issued throughout 2024; the other 308 projects will be studied as part of the first transition cycle, which will account for the additional 46,000 MW of new generation, expected to clear the process by mid-2025.
PJM on Dec. 15 posted a new searchable list on PJM.com, the Transition Sort Retool Report, which lists the status of all projects filed between April 2018 and September 2020 that were part of the evaluation. PJM also posted a Frequently Asked Questions (PDF) document with the report to address developers’ questions. PJM’s interconnection process reform, widely supported by stakeholders, was approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in November 2022. The reforms, devised in collaboration with stakeholders, provide an efficient and timely process for handling New Service Requests by, among other changes, transitioning from a “first-come, first-served” queue approach to a “first-ready, first-served” cycle approach.
The new process also improves project cost certainty for network upgrades and significantly enhances the overall process by which new and upgraded generation resources are studied and introduced onto the electrical grid in 13 states and the District of Columbia.
PJM’s transition to its new interconnection process sets the stage for more than 260,000 MW of mostly renewable projects to be studied over the next three years.
A breakdown of the projects that are scheduled to complete the PJM study process through either the Fast Lane or Transition Cycle 1 is provided below.