Generator Interconnection, Network Expansion, and Energy Transition

19 Pages Posted: 11 Oct 2021 Last revised: 16 Nov 2021

Date Written: September 29, 2021


Inefficient coordination between decentralized generation investment and centralized transmission planning is a significant barrier to achieving rapid decarbonization in liberalized electricity markets. While the optimal configuration of the transmission grid depends on the relative social costs of competing technologies, existing processes have not led to transmission expansion consistent with declines in the cost of wind and solar combined with increased estimates of the social costs of traditional thermal resources. To break the negative feedback loop preventing efficient network expansion, this paper proposes an inversion of the generator interconnection process in conjunction with modifications in the definition of financial rights connected with transmission service. From a generator perspective, the effect of the proposed reforms is to trade highly uncertain network upgrade and congestion costs for a fixed interconnection fee. From a transmission planning perspective, the goal is to improve the quality of information about new generation included in forward-looking planning processes. Simulation on a stylized two-node system demonstrates the potential of the approach to facilitate a transition to clean technologies.

Keywords: Electricity markets, energy transition, generator interconnection, transmission planning

Suggested Citation

Mays, Jacob, Generator Interconnection, Network Expansion, and Energy Transition (September 29, 2021). USAEE Working Paper No. 21-527, Available at SSRN: or

Jacob Mays (Contact Author)

Cornell University ( email )

Ithaca, NY 14853
United States

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