PJM: Offshore wind and renewable targets could require $3.2 billion in grid upgrades

A new study by PJM estimates that up to $3.2 billion in grid upgrades could be needed to support offshore wind and states’ renewable energy targets in the region by 2035.

The grid operator’s Offshore Wind Transmission Study did not analyze sea-to-shore infrastructure costs, or any offshore transmission networks. Projections are based on offshore wind injection totals of 6.4-17 GW, as well as modeling of all state renewable energy targets.

The study forecasted grid upgrade costs of $627 million in the short-term scenario (modeled out to 2027) and $2.16-3.21 billion for long-term scenarios.

“The states ultimately reserve the ability to work together on transmission solutions for offshore wind or other clean energy objectives, or can defer to the traditional path of having projects enter the generation interconnection queue with generators being responsible for associated transmission upgrades,” the report adds.

Three PJM states — Maryland, New Jersey, and Virginia — have 14 GW of announced offshore wind targets. Meanwhile, 10 states and the District of Columbia within the RTO have mandatory renewable energy portfolio targets, which are also factored into the Phase 1 study.

Ten points of interconnection were selected by PJM and states for the study.

The Biden administration set a goal of reaching 30GW offshore wind capacity by 2030 – a milestone authors from the Clean Energy Technology service say the White House is “almost certain” to miss because of supply chain and manufacturing limitations.

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