Record 462GW of solar capability looking for grid interconnection across the US

May 25, 2021 07:03 PM ET
  • A record quantity of solar capacity and energy storage is currently in US transmission interconnection lines, according to a new research study from Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (Berkeley Lab).
Record 462GW of solar capability looking for grid interconnection across the US
Image: Lockheed Martin

At 462GW, solar represent the majority of the overall generator ability in the queues, which reached a record of greater than 755GW as well as an estimated 200GW of storage space ability at the end of 2020. To put that in perspective, the US had 1,117 GW of utility-scale electrical power producing ability in operation last year.

Recommended large-scale electrical generation and also storage projects should obtain affiliation to the bulk power system via affiliation lines. Berkeley Lab stated that while several projects that request affiliation are not subsequently built, data from the lines up provide a basic sign for mid-term trends in developer interest.

The lab, which is supported by the US Division of Power, evaluated data from 7 independent system drivers (ISOs) and regional transmission organisations, along with 35 energies not in ISO areas, standing for an approximated 85% of all United States electrical power tons.

Solar capacity in the lines is distributed throughout many regions, including most especially PJM (89GW), the non-ISO West (88GW), ERCOT (65GW), MISO (64GW), Southeast (57GW) and CAISO (47GW).

Image: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

The data additionally indicates expanding interest in hybrid plants that incorporate multiple generation types and/or storage space at the point of affiliation. At the very least 159GW of the solar in the lines is suggested as a crossbreed plant, representing greater than one-third of all solar in the lines up.

An approximated 112GW of battery capability is recommended in hybrid arrangements with generation, standing for 55% of all storage ability in the lines. Berkeley Lab located that rate of interest in hybrids is most prominent in CAISO and also the non-ISO West, where 89% and 67% of the advancing recommended solar remains in a crossbreed configuration, specifically-- a fad that is said to be accelerating.

The study recommended that completion percentages have been decreasing in recent years and also are lower for wind and also solar than for other resources. Meanwhile, wait times get on the rise: in four ISOs, the regular period from link request to commercial operation raised from ~ 1.9 years for projects built in 2000-- 2009 to ~ 3.5 years for those built in 2010-- 2020.

In spite of the record capability in the lines up, much will certainly not inevitably be built, Berkeley Lab said. Looking back at a part of lines for which information are readily available (CAISO, ISO-NE, MISO, NYISO, as well as PJM), just 24% of the projects looking for link from 2000 to 2015 ultimately gotten to industrial procedures.

The research study follows another current Berkeley Lab study which discovered that standalone battery storage can supply better worth to the United States electricity system than batteries coupled straight with solar generation.

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