Recent News

By Tag

See all

By Month

See all

WVTF: Virginia's regional grid operator ranks last in the nation

Posted by Sandy Hausman on Mar 4, 2024

In an interview, WVTF Virginia Public Radio talks with Advanced Energy United Director Jon Gordon about PJM's low grade on United's 2024 Interconnection Scorecards.

Advanced Energy United... recently ranked all seven of the nation’s regional grid operators and gave the one serving Virginia a grade of D-minus. Policy Director Jon Gordon says PJM – which covers 13 states – used to add a few new power plants a year.

"They had a system that was designed for looking at large interconnections one at a time."

Now, it’s overwhelmed.

"PJM has over 2,500 projects in the interconnection cue. The backlog is so large that they actually stopped taking interconnection requests about a year ago. They completely paused the interconnection process."

He says, a new solar farm might have to wait five years to get the okay, while PJM tries to figure out whether the system can support additional power.

"They have to really look at the infrastructure to make sure there’s enough capacity to support the new generation projects. Sometimes before the project can be built, the grid may have to be upgraded to handle that extra power, and it does involve some pretty complicated analysis."

Gordon worries that power producers may need to keep burning coal and natural gas, because renewable energy companies can’t access the grid, and that could delay efforts by states to go green. To speed the approval process, he says PJM must change the way it does business and hire additional staff.

Read the full transcript here.

Topics: Virginia, United In The News, Transmission, Jon Gordon