Rand’s research finds long waits and low completion rates for projects seeking to join electric grid
An April 2023 study led by Joseph Rand at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, found there are over 10,000 projects representing 1,350 gigawatts (GW) of generator capacity and 680 GW of storage currently in the interconnection queue lines across the United States. Interconnection queues are lists of utility projects that are seeking to connect to the electric grid, and waiting to undergo studies before they can be built.
Rand's research found that developer interest in solar, storage and wind is strong, but completion rates are generally low and wait times are increasing. "The typical project built in 2022 took 5 years from the interconnection request to commercial operations, compared to 3 years in 2015 and <2 years in 2008," the study reports.
A recent CNBC story told the stories of several renewable energy projects that joined the queue, only to wait years to discover surprise fees that make the projects impossible to complete. The story also explains the process, asks how this became such a problem, and quoted Rand about his research.
“The energy transition is here. But our updating and expansion of our electric transmission system so far has not even remotely kept pace with that velocity, rate of change we are seeing on the generator-supply side,” Rand told CNBC.
Learn more about the study and access key findings and data here, and read the full CNBC story here.