ERCOT: interconnection requests continue to fall

TEXAS - Generation interconnection requests continued to fall in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas Inc. in September, after sizable drops in July and August, according to a monthly status report from the grid operator's system planning division.

In total, ERCOT is tracking 79,085 MW of generation requests, a decrease of 4,589 MW from 83,674 MW in the previous month's report and down nearly 18,000 MW from 96,954 MW in June.

Since January, ERCOT has recorded a decrease of 14%, or 7,399 MW, in generation interconnection requests for wind capacity, and a drop of 25.5%, or 27,148 MW, in total generation requests.

As of September 30, ERCOT is tracking 44,601 MW of generation interconnection requests for wind capacity, down from 47,919 MW as of August 31. Generation requests for natural gas projects dropped to 18,154 MW in September from 19,645 MW in August; coal requests remain unchanged at 6,670 MW; solar requests increased slightly to 1,095 MW from 1,082 MW.

According to the report, which also details activities related to new transmission and generation development, one new generation interconnections agreement was signed in September for Edison International subsidiary Edison Mission Energy's 150-MW Cedro Hill wind farm in Webb County, Texas.

E.ON AG subsidiary EC&R Papalote Creek I LLC's 180-MW Papalote Creek I Wind Facility was the sole power plant that registered for commercial operations in September, the report said. Total installed wind capacity increased to 8,515 MW, from 8,335 MW, of which 6,992 MW, or 82%, is located within the Western Congestion Management Zone, the report said.

The report also detailed a number of transmission projects being reviewed by ERCOT's Regional Planning Group, noting that system planners are reviewing $1.04 billion of potential transmission improvements, compared with $1.16 billion being reviewed in August.

According to the report, ERCOT completed its review and sent its endorsement letter for CenterPoint Energy Inc.'s $25.5 million project to expand the Zenith substation, add one 800 million volt-amperes autotransformer, connect Zenith to existing circuits near the Gertie substation and upgrade/reconfigure nearby 138-kV circuits.

In addition, ERCOT moved one project to independent review from study mode: Energy Future Holdings Corp. subsidiary Luminant Energy Co. LLC's $3 million Comanche Peak Area Congestion Mitigation Plan to loop the future Parker to Everman 345-kV competitive renewable energy zone line into the Comanche Peak 345-kV switch station.



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