Offshore transmission developer Anbaric has filed with ISO-New England for a 1200MW high voltage direct current (HVDC) interconnection to a substation located at Brayton Point in Somerset, Massachusetts.
The interconnection request establishes a critical onshore landing point as Anbaric advances its Massachusetts OceanGrid project, designed to streamline offshore wind projects’ access to the on-shore grid and boost competition across the industry.
Robust transmission infrastructure should help Massachusetts realize its offshore wind goals while protecting the public from unnecessary costs and reducing impacts on the environment.
Anbaric’s Brayton Point proposal anticipates expanded wind generation procurements off Massachusetts’ shores resulting from recent federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) auctions of lease areas for offshore wind. The company received approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in February 2018 to conduct an “open season” bidding process for offshore wind developers to connect to an offshore grid.
“The 2018 BOEM 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 HVDC is the most efficient technology to access all of the lease areas and move energy to shore with the smallest environmental footprint,” said Stephen Conant, Partner, Anbaric.
Anbaric’s proposal is the first to offer high voltage direct current technology to move large volumes of offshore wind from remote ocean locations to population centers on the mainland. “Using HVDC technology, Anbaric can connect 1200 megawatts of wind via a single cable bundle; to move the same amount of energy with alternating current (AC) you would need three or four separate cables, each in its own corridor,” Conant explained. He added that “This reduction in cable size is essential to realizing 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 optimize connections to shore is the way to go.”