Powering Strong Communities

Waiting to Connect

One barrier standing between getting new generating assets deployed is getting those facilities connected into the electric grid.

According to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, there were more than 1.2 million megawatts of capacity waiting in an interconnection queue at the end of 2021 — about the same as the total capacity of all generating assets already in operation.

This is almost three times the capacity in such queues in 2007.

capacity in interconnection queue 2007 v 2021

Most of this capacity is for solar and wind projects, including those paired with battery storage.

capacity in interconnection queue, by reosurce type

The PJM Interconnection region had the most capacity in queue of any one region, with nearly 250,000 MW. The parts of the western U.S. outside of an ISO were close behind, with about 235,000 MW waiting to be connected.

Part of this is the amount of capacity getting added each year — which topped 490,000 MW in 2021 — or nearly four times the capacity added in 2011.

As the total projects in line grow, so do the wait times.

interconnection wait time increased to 3.7 years up from 2.1 years

Source: Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory.

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