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 .