Grid connection requests for nearly one terawatt of solar and 680 GW of storage in the U.S.
Post date: 11/04/2023 - 09:00
According to surveys by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), grid operators in the U.S. have requests to connect new generation facilities with nearly two terawatts (TW) of total capacity, almost entirely from solar, wind and storage power plants. Data from the seven electricity markets in the U.S. and 35 other grid operators outside of those markets were analyzed for the statistics, for a total of 85 percent of the total electricity load, according to Berkeley Lab.
The requests, which are necessary to connect larger plants to the grid, are just an indicator, only a portion of them are actually implemented; out of the requests between 2000 and 2017, for example, 21 percent of projects and 14 percent of capacity have been built until now. The enormous increase is nevertheless a clear indication of the transformation of the energy supply: Current existing requests amount to 947 gigawatts (GW) for solar and 300 GW for wind, so that for these two types of generation alone, the requested capacity is roughly equal to that of the entire current U.S. power plant fleet. In addition, there is 680 GW of capacity from storage power plants, a high proportion of which is combined with solar: just under half (457 GW) of the inquiries for solar power plants are for hybrid concepts, most of which are in combination with battery storage. Preliminary inquiries for fossil-fuel power plants, on the other hand, total only 82 GW for gas and one GW for coal. For nuclear power plants, too, there are only preliminary inquiries for a few gigawatts.