There were broad additions to nodal totals for the 7 US ISOs during the 4th Quarter of 2022 to finish out the year. Once again ERCOT led the way in additions to Load Buses (386), while CAISO saw significant additions to both Generation and Storage nodal points (158). In terms of capacity additions to the Generation stack, CAISO saw significant additions in Solar (3,320 mws) and Storage (2,841 mws), while ERCOT lead the way in additions of Wind Generation (1,735).
Background-ISO Nodal Additions
Much discussion is taking place regarding the slow response of regulatory authorities to entities seeking to respond to economic signals regarding absence of new generation or storage capacity, push to make the grid cleaner, and lately legislative initiatives creating new incentives for clean generation and energy storage. One indicator of the efficiency of various regional regulatory bodies have processed requests to build new generation and storage is the speed in which Interconnection Request have been approved. Some projects make their way through the siting and approval process, and some do not. However, one of the most significant phases for any new construction on the Grid is the assignment of a Price Node or PNode by the ISO regulatory authorities. This can indeed occur before any visual satellite evidence of the facility can be seen, or even prior to energy or services being taken from, or provided to the Grid. Still, this is an important designation in the life of the facility (substation or generation) indicating that a unique price for the value of energy is now being published as a result of the ISO SCED (Security Constrained Economic Dispatch) process which produces a Locational Marginal Price (LMP) for the physical location.
Clarity PNode Additions
Clarity Grid Solutions maintains and updates a library of over 70,000 price points published by the 7 US ISOs which are defined as Price Nodes (PNodes) by each of the ISOs. The data structures of each ISO are somewhat different in terms of naming convention and other identifying and associated data fields associated with a PNode. NYISO is the most unique in only publishing prices for unique locations for Generation sites and not individual Buses (Substations). All pricing for Load is aggregated to a Zonal price in NYISO and individual pricing for the Buses making up the Zonal price in NYISO is opaque. Other identifying coding may also be added to PNodes such as Bus Name or Bus IDs which may or may not be considered Critical Energy Infrastructure (CEII) data. In addition to PNode (and associated data) published by the ISOs, Clarity Grid publishes not just locational information, but capacities (mw) of generation or load, as well as fuel type and any visible large Loads in the vicinity of the Substation, e.g., Refining, Distribution Warehouse, or Data Center. This can be useful in formation in providing some context for existing or newly added energy infrastructure.
It should be noted that nodal additions to either Generation or Load do not necessarily indicate new construction, as frequently previously existing substations may be added to an ISOs population of PNodes making up a Zonal Index price. In the case of Generation, previously existing Generation may be merged into the ISO’s PNode library through the merging of an entire new Utility’s capacity inventory being brought into an ISO, as has been the case with CAISO’s EIM and SPP’s WEIS extended market programs. Understanding this distinction Clarity presents both Newly Constructed as well as Pre-existing Nodal and Capacity additions.
As can be seen from the Chart below, over the 4th quarter of 2022 813 new nodal points were added to the Clarity platform, 655 Load and 158 Generation. With the exception of most of SPP and PJM Load node additions, most of these nodal additions represent newly constructed infrastructure. As can be seen CAISO added the most individual Generation nodes (59) while ERCOT added (by far) the most new Load node additions (386) as has been the case for several quarters.
|NYISO||NEISO||PJM||MISO||SPP||ERCOT||CAISO||Total Fuel Type|
Capacity Additions to Generation Stack
Since nodal additions do not tell the full story of activity on the Grid it is also useful to view the capacity additions to the Generation side of each ISOs operations. The Chart below represents megawatt (mw) additions to each ISO and viewed horizontally as additions to the overall ISO Generation stack by Fuel Type. As can be seen significant additions of new Solar were added in ERCOT, CAISO, and notably PJM over the Quarter. In addition, significant new Wind capacity came online (from a PNode perspective) in ERCOT, and to a certain extent CAISO. The additions of Hydro in CAISO represented pre-existing Generation owned by newly merged Utilities located mostly in the Northwestern US and now part of CAISO’s EIM Market.
|NYISO||NEISO||PJM||MISO||SPP||ERCOT||CAISO||Total Fuel Type|
The distinction between truly newly constructed Generation capacity from pre-existing can be seen mostly clearly in the Chart below. As noted, all of SPP new additions were due to new Utility members of WEIS being added. Lastly, a significant amount of newly added CAISO capacity represented additions of pre-existing generation capacity from new EIM members.
Noteworthy Examples of Load Additions:
Taking a look at some specific load points (substations) coming on in the 4Q 2022:
Electric Transmission of Texas (ETT) new Wolf Tank 138 kv substation anchored just north of Wolf Tank LLC’s newly constructed 173 mw energy storage unit northwest of Loredo. ETT’s Lobo 138 kv substation can be viewed just to the north of Wolf Tank. Wolf Tank LLC is wholly owned by Blackstone’s Aypa Power who has developed the site.
The City of Colorado Springs municipal generation and distribution network assets represents one of the newly merged WEIS Utilities in SPP. The new Claremont 230 kv substation owned by East River Electric Power can be seen below. All newly added nodal points associated with WEIS facilities are now viewable on Clarity’s website.
Noteworthy Examples of Generation Additions:
Additions of new renewable generation facilities in NYISO and NEISO have traditionally lagged relative to other regions. Therefore it is notable that a large wind facility Baron Winds (Cohocton Winds) had PNodes introduced over the Quarter. The facility was constructed by RWE and has a capacity of 122 megawatts.
In PJM Hexagon Energy’s Piney Creek Solar moved into the PNode library with its 102 mw Solar facility located in Clover, VA.
During the 4th Quarter APEX Clean Energy’s Young Wind Farm and its 500-mw capacity was award PNodes and added to Clarity’s generation database.
During the 4th Quarter of 2022 one of the largest new grid-based Battery projects seen to date, Marvel Battery Storage 400 mw was added adjacent to Socal Edison’s Devers 220 kv substation. The BESS is owned by Socal Edison.