Costs of wholesale electricity \u201cdramatically increased\u201d this summer due to the market compensation related to the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station\u2019s outage, according to grid operator chief executive officer Steve Berberich. He did not enumerate the actual costs to the California Independent System Operator\u2019s board Nov. 1, but noted that staff is \u201cworking on underlying causes.\u201d While there was calm summer weather for most of Southern California, electricity demand in the San Diego area still \u201ccame within 50 MW of the all-time peak,\u201d Berberich said, \u201cand that was without anything terribly extreme.\u201d He noted the Sunrise Powerlink transmission line put in service earlier this year helped by enhancing the ability to import power to the area. He also said that prices increased because of fires in Northern California in summer. Prices, in part, may be managed in the future with better forecasting, Berberich said. With more solar and wind power interconnections, that forecasting means more accurate planning for weather. Meanwhile, the grid operator has whittled down the renewable interconnection request pool from 70,000 MW in summer of 2011 to just 36,000 MW, said Bob Emmert, grid operator interconnection resources manager. Many project applicants who have little realistic choice of financing and building their projects have been withdrawing their interconnection requests. Emmert said the grid operator needs to facilitate only another 10,500 MW of interconnections for the state to meet its 33 percent renewable energy requirement for 2020. Today\u2019s reduced queue for interconnecting renewable energy projects comes after the grid operator had been overwhelmed with applications. Then when projects changed their parameters because their initial big plans were downsized due to financial constraints, their position in the queue became as valuable as a winning lottery ticket. Other project developers who didn\u2019t downsize wanted to elbow out what they saw as transgressors in the line. Because getting through the queue is a major step to building a project, backbiting ensued among developers. Some accused others of taking up space in the queue with non-viable projects, then holding that space while renegotiating terms to make them more viable. Others said that all terms and negotiations should be finalized before entering the queue.