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PJM Reformed Interconnection Process Expected to Clear 300 New Generation Projects

The PJM Interconnection’s reformed interconnection process is expected to clear 300 new generation projects totaling 26,000 megawatts in 2024, the mid-Atlantic grid operator said on Dec. 21.

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.

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 its website, 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 document with the report to address developers’ questions.

PJM’s interconnection process reform was approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in November 2022. The reforms “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 grid operator said.

“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,” it said.

PJM said its 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.

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