Interconnection Cost Analysis in ISO-New England
Electric transmission system operators (ISOs, RTOs, or utilities) require new large generators seeking to connect to the grid to undergo a series of impact studies before they can be built. This process establishes what new transmission equipment or upgrades may be needed before a project can connect to the system and assigns the costs of that equipment. Berkeley Lab has collected interconnection cost data for 194 projects in New England from interconnection studies performed between 2010 and 2021. Project-level cost summary data are available for download on this page.
- Interconnection costs have grown over time, especially for projects that withdraw.
- Interconnection costs are highest for onshore wind, followed by solar and storage. Natural gas and offshore wind projects tend to cost less to interconnect, in comparison.
- Economies of scale exist for solar and possibly storage projects, but not for other resource types.
- Wind and solar projects requesting capacity network resource interconnection service have higher interconnection costs, despite being evaluated using the same interconnection standard in the analyzed studies.
- Low and high interconnection costs can be found throughout the ISO-NE footprint.
- Costs are split fairly evenly between investments at the point of interconnection and within the broader network for active and withdrawn projects, while complete projects incur most costs at the point of interconnection.