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Solar, storage lead MISO’s record-setting interconnection queue

The Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) has received a record 487 applications for interconnection this year, with renewable energy representing 64 gigawatts, or 83%, of the proposed new generating capacity.

The 77 GW of submissions in 2021 topped the 2020 total of 52 GW by nearly 50 percent, MISO said. Solar led yet again with 44 GW, followed by 12 GW in energy storage projects. Energy storage projects surpassed wind projects for the first time in 2021, totaling 9.1 GW.

“The majority of the GIQ applicants are trending in line with meeting future clean energy goals set by our members and stakeholders,” said Andy Witmeier, director – resource utilization at MISO. “As intermittent resources become more prevalent, the need for our Long-Range Transmission Planning (LRTP) efforts is reinforced to address potential operational challenges in the future and leverage our large regional footprint and resource diversity. The LRTP work is a key component of MISO’s Response to the Reliability Imperative which defines the critical areas requiring urgent action to ensure reliability in the future.”

There are now 980 projects totaling 153 GW in the MISO queue, 63% of which is solar. MISO is currently managing 15 ongoing queue cycles.

“Our planning efforts included developing the MISO Futures report which highlights the impact of the rapid renewables growth on the electric grid and the transmission system,” said Witmeier. “We anticipated this shift towards more renewable technologies as a replacement for retiring conventional generation across the footprint, and we expect it to accelerate in the future.” 

MISO will share details about the 2021 GIQ cycle at the monthly Interconnection Process Working Group meeting on Tuesday, September 21 at 10am ET.

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