There was almost 1TW of renewable energy capacity and an estimated 427GW of storage active in US interconnection queues at the end of 2021 according to a Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) analysis, which also showed that queues were growing year-on-year.
In total, over 930GW of zero-carbon generating capacity is currently seeking transmission access. Solar accounts for a record 676GW of this generation – beating the previous record of 462GW at the end of 2020 – and wind power makes up 247GW.
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Fossil fuels looking to connect are on the decline, however, with 75GW of natural gas and less than 1GW of coal currently proposed.
Solar and battery storage are by far the fastest growing resources in the queues – together accounting for 85% of new capacity entries in 2021 – but have some of the lowest completion rates, LBNL said. Clean energy organisations have long been calling for system reform to help more solar and storage get connected.
Meanwhile, hybrid projects comprise a large and growing share of proposed capacity in interconnection queues, particularly in CAISO and the non-ISO West, LBNL said, adding that 286GW of solar hybrids (primarily solar-plus-battery storage) and 19GW of wind hybrids are currently active in the queues.
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