Wind and solar: costs of grid inter-connection?

Costs of wind or solar grid connection

What are the costs of inter-connecting a utility-scale wind and solar project into the power grid, via a spur line, grid tie-in or feeder?

This data-file assesses twenty case studies of renewables assets in North America, based on published inter-connection documents.

Costs are highly variable. But a good baseline is to expect $100-300/kW of grid inter-connection costs, or $3-10/kW-km, over a 10-70 km typical distance (which includes the length of downstream lines that must be upgraded). Larger and higher voltage projects tend to have lower tie-in costs.

What is most surprising is how vastly the ranges can vary. The lowest-cost tie-in was $25/kW, tying in a solar asset to a 230kV power line with spare capacity that is a mere 1-mile away. Whereas the highest-cost tie-in was $1,250/kW (i.e., more than the 40MW solar project itself!) where the asset owner was asked to contribute an eye-watering c$50M to cover the costs of upgrading 500km of high-voltage transmission lines downstream of the inter-connection point.

Recent Commentary: to read more about costs of wind or solar grid connection, please see our article here. We are getting increasingly excited about opportunities in power transmission and power-electronics .

Power electronics: problems and solutions?

The purpose of this data-file is to summarize the main problems and solutions in power-electronics, and how they will evolve amidst the ramp-up of renewables and electrification.

We describe c15 problems that are incurred by power consumers, all of which will be amplified amidst the build-out of renewables, some more than others.

In turn, this means we expect c$100bn pa growth in the market for compensatory power-electronics solutions by 2030 (this number excludes grid-scale batteries). Different devices, examples, market sizes and costs are summarized in the equipment tab.

Back-up data follows from technical papers in the final tab.

Copyright: Thunder Said Energy, 2022.