The Planning Committee of the PJM Interconnection endorsed a proposal Feb. 8 detailing how PJM will transition to a new interconnection process designed to get generation and other projects through the planning pipeline faster and help clear the current backlog.
Ken Seiler, PJM’s Vice President for Planning, said that while projects that entered the queue before 2021 will be prioritized as part of the transition plan, “We’re not closing the door on new projects.”
He said, “We are prioritizing more than 1,200 projects that we have in our backlog, most of them renewables, and they represent more than 100,000 megawatts of nameplate capacity – that’s half the capacity we have on our system today. We are focused on moving those through the system and streamlining the process as much as possible, and getting real projects interconnected to the queue.”
Seiler said PJM has made significant progress in augmenting staffing in 2021, with plans to continue additional hiring through 2023.
PJM has approximately 225,000 MW worth of projects in the PJM new services queue, 95% of which are wind, solar, storage or a hybrid of renewables with storage. PJM is also increasing its capital budgets for tools and automation to help in the effort to streamline the study process.
The transition proposal garnered 91% approval in a committee vote.
The PJM transition plan, along with the new process itself, now heads to PJM’s Markets and Reliability Committee, with an April vote planned for both that group and the Members Committee.
If the plans are endorsed by the Markets and Reliability Committee and the Members Committee, PJM expects to file necessary changes with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in May.
Based on the current work plan, the effective date of the transition would be the last quarter of this year or the first quarter of 2023.
PJM is a regional transmission organization that coordinates the movement of wholesale electricity in all or parts of 13 states and the District of Columbia.