A leading offshore transmission system operator has filed with ISO-New England for a 1.2-GW high voltage direct current interconnection to a substation at a former power station in Somerset, Massachusetts.
The interconnection request establishes an onshore landing point as Anbaric advances its Massachusetts ‘OceanGrid’ project, designed to streamline offshore wind projects’ access to the onshore grid.
Robust transmission infrastructure will help Massachusetts realise its offshore wind goals while protecting the public from unnecessary costs and reducing impacts on the environment, said the company.
Anbaric’s Brayton Point proposal anticipates expanded wind generation procurements offshore Massachusetts resulting from recent federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management auctions (BOEM) of lease areas for offshore wind.
The company received approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in February 2018 to conduct an ‘open season’ bidding process for offshore wind developers to connect to an offshore grid.
Anbaric partner Stephen Conant said, “The 2018 lease auction added new offshore wind developers able to supply power to New England. Their lease areas are farther from shore than the three areas initially awarded by BOEM, and high voltage direct current (HVDC) is the most efficient technology to access all of the lease areas and move energy to shore with the smallest environmental footprint.”
Anbaric’s proposal is the first to offer this technology to move large volumes of offshore wind from remote ocean locations to towns and cities on the mainland.
“Using HVDC technology, Anbaric can connect 1.2 GW of offshore wind via a single cable bundle. To transmit the same amount of energy with alternating current you would need three or four separate cables, each in its own corridor,” Mr Conant explained.
“This reduction in cable size is essential to realising Massachusetts’ offshore wind goals because Brayton Point is one of the most robust points on the grid where large volumes of offshore wind can connect, but there are very few potential cable routes to Brayton Point because of environmental and other constraints in Narragansett and Mount Hope bays.
“As Massachusetts and other New England states weigh harnessing more offshore wind energy, an OceanGrid with fewer high capacity cables that optimise connections to shore is the way to go,” he said.