Powering Strong Communities

PJM Transition to New Interconnection Process Gets Underway

The transition to the PJM Interconnection’s new interconnection process kicked off on July 10, setting the stage for more than 260,000 megawatts of mostly renewable projects to be studied over the next three years, the grid operator said.

More than 95% of the projects requesting grid connection are renewables or batteries, or a hybrid of both, PJM noted.

Among other reforms, the process moves from a “first-come, first-served” queue approach to a “first-ready, first-served” cycle method. It includes decision points along the way at which the developers must submit readiness deposits and demonstrate site control or withdraw their projects. These requirements are expected to weed out the large number of speculative projects that have contributed to existing backlogs, PJM said.

 Starting on July 10, PJM opened a 60-day window for developers in transition to post the readiness requirements.

In September, PJM will update its models with those generators qualifying to enter the transition and begin processing projects with no or minimal system impacts that qualify for a “fast-lane” process.

PJM also created the new Queue Scope tool, which enables developers to better assess the engineering and financial impacts of a project at various locations on their own before they formally enter PJM’s interconnection queue. This should save them, particularly smaller developers, time and money and result in more viable projects to be studied by PJM.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the interconnection process reforms on Nov. 29, 2022.

About 44,000 MW of projects have completed the PJM study process but have yet to move to construction, due to siting, financing, supply chain, or other issues. In 2023, less than 2,200 MW of projects have come online; in 2022, that number was 2,000 MW.

By the end of 2024, PJM expects to have cleared about 62,000 MW for connection, another 100,000 MW by the end of 2025, and an additional 100,000 MW by the end of 2026.

The PJM system’s current total capacity is about 184,000 MW.

Additional information and frequently asked questions about the transition to the new interconnection process can be found on the Interconnection Process Reform webpage.