On April 27, 2022, members of the PJM Interconnection, LLC (“PJM”) Membership Committee voted in favor of a series of rate reforms that PJM states will revamp and improve its generator interconnection process. In a press release issued the same day, PJM said the changes will create a faster and more efficient interconnection process, allowing PJM to better manage the influx of interconnection requests that PJM has seen in recent years and will continue to see in the future. In a press release dated April 28, 2022, PJM indicated that it expects to file the proposal with FERC in May 2022.
According to PJM, the number of projects entering the new service queue has almost tripled in the past four years due to the rapid growth in the development of renewable energy generation. PJM entered 2022 with nearly 2,500 projects under consideration representing approximately 225,000 megawatts on offer. 95% of these studied megawatts come from renewable, storage or hybrid resources.
PJM reports that its interconnection reform proposal will include, among others, the following elements:
- Projects will be processed on a first-read, first-served basis rather than a first-come, first-served basis.
- Improvements to procedures regarding required permits and site control.
- Simplified cost responsibility analysis of individual projects by grouping projects within a single cycle and reducing the number of re-studies for project changes.
- Projects which do not contribute to the need for network improvements and/or which do not require installation studies may proceed to a final agreement sooner.
The interconnection queue reform proposal will also include a two-year transition period to address the current backlog by prioritizing more than 1,200 projects submitted before 2021. PJM reports that its proposed transition process will also include a “fast track” that would prioritize around 450 projects. projects.
The PJM press release of April 28, 2022 is available here.