After MISO and SPP revised their generator interconnection procedures recently, its PJM's turn now.
PJM claims more than $1 billion in benefits in integrating efficient resources. As more and more renewables queue up to interconnect to PJM's transmission system, it remains to be seen if PJM adopts a "cluster" process like MISO. In a clustering process, all the generator interconnection requests received by a certain date are studied together.
MISO is still studying requests from 2018 April window. Some of the interconnection customers are dropping out due to upgrade costs in this late stage of MISOs Definitive Planning Phase (DPP). This DPP is MISO's pathway for serious project developers who are willing to put money ($5,000 per MW) down. Once developers drop out, the ones behind the queue # are potentially liable for upgrade costs.
One of the challenges of RTO interconnection queue processes is, RTOs have to treat every resource the same. So, even if solar makes up a bulk of interconnection requests now - PJM RTO would still have to wait until the request window closes, and then, study all the requests in a certain state/region together - if PJM adopts the clustering process. As a result, a 5 MW solar project will be treated the same way as a 20 MW storage project. On a large generator interconnection size, off shore wind and utility scale solar will be bunched together.
Will PJM follow a similar process? Or, will PJM come up with something different? For now, PJM is covering the bases by asking stakeholders. Expect some FERC tariff filing in spring 2021.