Clearing the present queue backlog is the main target of the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) generator interconnection workers. However, they’re lacking a key long-term answer to deal with the foundation explanation for backlog, figuring out community improve prices for builders.

Indeed, renewable power (RE) builders might verify if options to community upgrades exist if these builders have research leads to hand.

SPP workers ought to run a number of Definitive Interconnection System Impact Study (DISIS) research cycle fashions to establish the portfolio of community upgrades. That research would point out doable prices for builders. As a consequence, they’d then select to remain within the queue or drop out. If RE builders default in PPAs resulting from SPP queue delays, that finally would enhance the price of the renewable tasks.

SPP queue stats and background

SPP has 100 GWs of capability of renewable power tasks in its backlog. These are from 533 interconnection buyer (IC) requests. Unlike PJM, SPP is concentrated solely on clearing out the generator interconnection queue backlog. SPP’s generator queue backlog shouldn’t be larger in quantity than PJM’s 2000 tasks and 200 GWs backlog.

Similar to PJM, SPP should search a number of stakeholder committee approvals earlier than FERC tariff submitting. In SPP’s case, the Markets and Operations Policy Committee (MOPC) is the highest committee that should overview and approve the SPP stakeholder’s perspective.

SPP’s latest reforms

SPP’s decrease stakeholder committee, Strategic & Creative Re-Engineering of Integrated Planning Team (SCRIPT), lately permitted unanimously three methods to cut back their present backlog. These embody

  • 1) decreasing restudying by elevated web site management necessities and non-refundable DISIS research deposits,
  • 2) growing monetary commitments from $2,000/MW to $four,000/MW, and making 25% of monetary safety “at-risk” funds after the beginning of section 1 and finish of resolution level 1, and
  • three) streamlining DISIS research cycles by combining 2018 and 2019 and different research enhancements.

So, what’s lacking?

None of the SPP SCRIPT modifications handle the core drawback within the generator interconnection queue backlog – community improve price estimates. If ICs know the transmission improve price of interconnecting their photo voltaic venture on the level of interconnection, they’d be ready to remain within the queue or drop out after submitting their request. But these improve prices usually are not unknown till SPP workers runs the mannequin. And when ICs drop out, SPP should restudy.

The solely strategy to keep away from this might be for SPP workers to point potential transmission improve prices for every DISIS cycle.

What are the doable options?

I see a minimum of 2 doable options within the interim for tasks already within the queue ready for SPP’s DISIS research outcomes.

The first doable answer is IC having the choice to set off a research on their very own to guage different Grid Enhancing Technologies (GETs) akin to SmartValves or Dynamic Line Ratings (DLRs). That choice would offer SPP workers and the Transmission Owner (TO) information on the doable choices for the IC with out dropping from the queue as a result of the choice is SPP research consequence exhibits a necessity for greater than $10 million improve prices, which usually results in the shopper dropping out.

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Running a research with all of the tasks within the queue to establish community upgrades for every DISIS cycle

The second doable answer is to keep away from this want for a number of DISIS restudies and scale back the SPP and TO forwards and backwards with the IC for research outcomes.

What if SPP workers did proactive generator interconnection planning by finding out all of the community upgrades wanted to accommodate DISIS 2018 cycle? This checklist of community upgrades wanted to accommodate one interconnection cycle is the “portfolio of tasks,” and their mixed interconnection prices present ICs an general vary for what might be their price…

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