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Eastern US grid connection queues for 2020 have 19,013 MW of renewables, storage

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Solar, onshore wind dominate 2020 queues

Offshore wind dominates NYISO, ISO-NE queues for all years

New York — The US Northeastern ISO power markets have 19,013 MW of renewable energy and energy storage resources expected to come online in 2020 according to grid interconnection queue data, compared with a total of 153,488 MW in the interconnection queues for all years.

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Commodities 2020 | S&P Global Platts

Multiple states served by wholesale power markets in PJM Interconnection, the New York Independent System Operator and ISO New England territory have mandated regulation and enacted legislation to promote renewable energy as a way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The interconnection queues represent the mix of power generation resources that have submitted requests and taken other steps to connect to the regional power grids.

Importantly, not all projects get built as conditions change and companies cancel, delay and remove projects from the queue for various reasons. According to ISO NE, almost 70% of proposed new megawatts in the queue have ultimately been withdrawn.

However, the data provides a view of which resource types show interest in supplying the grid and it provide a sense of how future power generation mixes could look.

PJM

The PJM queue for resources listed as connecting to the grid in 2020 is led by solar power, with 7,226 MW as of December 13. That is followed by 4,783 MW of onshore wind and smaller but increasing volumes of energy storage resources, which are increasingly being paired with generation like solar power.

"In PJM, the share of the total solar PV capacity in the queue that includes some level of storage has increased sharply since last year, despite some uncertainty around market rules, as cost reduction makes the addition of batteries more economic," Felix Maire, senior energy storage analyst with S&P Global Platts Analytics, said Friday.

There are 398 MW of solar plus storage projects and 699 MW of stand-alone energy storage capacity seeking to connect to the grid in 2020. Longer term, based on data for the PJM queue for all years, there are 6,160 MW of stand-alone storage and 9,881 MW of solar plus storage listed.

Additionally, offshore wind power capacity appears set for significant growth according to the data, with just 12 MW planned to connect in 2020 from a Dominion Energy project in Virginia expanding to 13,848 MW for all years in the queue.

NYISO

Renewable energy capacity growth in the NYISO's markets based on interconnection queue data is dominated by onshore wind and solar power projects in 2020 at 1,460 MW and 1,296 MW, respectively. That is followed by 472 MW of energy storage capacity listed in the queue as connecting in 2020. Similar to PJM, the interconnection queue for all years has large volumes of offshore wind power capacity. This reflects New York's target of installing 9,000 MW of offshore wind by 2035 from 0 MW installed currently.

That compares with 5,110 MW of onshore wind listed in the queue for all years.

The power generation fuel mix in southern New York State is currently dominated by dual fuel resources that burn natural gas, with a secondary source like oil as a backup.

State officials are looking to change that, with Governor Andrew Cuomo in July signing the state's landmark Green New Deal, which calls for a carbon-free power system by 2040 and codifies the goal of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

ISO-NE

New England's power grid is set to receive 1,665 incremental MW of solar power in 2020, according to ISO-NE's interconnection queue. That is followed by 789 MW of hydropower and 214 MW of onshore wind power queued to connect in 2020. The hydropower projects involve upgrading a facility in Berkshire County, Massachusetts, and adding battery storage to a hydropower plant in Penobscot, Maine, according to the queue.

The growth of offshore wind capacity is evident in ISO-NE's queue for all years, which includes 14,662 MW of sea-based turbines, which far outstrips any of the other renewable energy or storage resources in the interconnection queue.

The next largest source of incremental renewable energy in the queue is solar power at 3,607 MW.

States along the US East Coast are seeking to procure more than 19,300 MW of offshore wind capacity through 2035, up from just 30 MW of offshore wind resources currently operating in the US, according to an analysis from S&P Global Market Intelligence and S&P Global Platts.

Commodities 2020 | S&P Global Platts

-- Jared Anderson, jared.anderson@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Richard Rubin, newsdesk@spglobal.com