Small renewables lagging behind in major US power market — report

By Catherine Morehouse | 02/27/2024 06:18 AM EST

Rystad Energy found that projects from larger companies are edging smaller ones in getting expedited review in the PJM Interconnection.

New rules aimed at speeding the pace of adding new power generation to the grid appear to be giving large developers — including fossil fuel companies and utilities — an advantage over smaller renewables companies, according to a new analysis released by research firm Rystad Energy.

Of projects that will see expedited review from the PJM Interconnection — the largest U.S. power market — the average-sized solar array is 86 megawatts compared with the queue’s overall average of 52 MW. Analysts expect that stricter requirements from PJM and FERC aimed at moving projects that are closer to construction forward more quickly, including tighter timelines to pay connection fees, will benefit larger companies that have more capital.

Two of the largest developers that will see their projects studied this year include the renewables arms of oil giants BP and Shell. “I think we’re going to start seeing this across the entire U.S. where the big players are just going to start winning,” Geoff Hebertson, a senior renewables and power analyst at Rystad, told POLITICO’s Morning Energy.


The analysis also found stand-alone solar projects are continuing to dominate and are expected to make up more than 17,000 MW of the 26,000 MW PJM is expediting this year. Solar and storage projects make up 3,922 MW, stand-alone storage 2,958 and onshore and offshore wind total 1,476 MW.