- Developer Anbaric will spend $650 million to convert the former Brayton Point Power Station into a Massachusetts offshore wind platform, according to a statement issued Monday.
- Anbaric is expected to build a 1,200 MW high-voltage direct current (HVDC) converter and 400 MW of onsite battery storage in order to convert and store electricity generated by offshore wind turbines. The site will also house manufacturing and storage space for large turbine components.
- Commercial Development Co. (CDC) rebranded the former coal power station last year into the Brayton Point Commerce Center. CDC intended the deep water port to help with offshore wind development, serving as a symbol of the transition from fossil fuels to renewables.
The United States is badly in need of port infrastructure to support offshore wind deployment. Unlike Europe, whose offshore wind development boomed in part through the use of existing offshore oil drilling infrastructure, the states currently leading in U.S. offshore wind never allowed offshore oil drilling, therefore lacking in ports that are ready to support the large-scale manufacturing activities required.
Anbaric's construction is anticipated to begin in 2021, provided that the company wins a bid for the 2019 Massachusetts offshore wind request for power, according to Steve Conant, Anbaric partner and project manager.
Timing is important as Vineyard Wind nears construction of its 800 MW offshore wind project off the coast of Massachusetts. Anbaric has been working with the state legislature to develop solutions for offshore wind infrastructure since the state's offshore wind policy was adopted in 2016, according to state Rep. Patricia Haddad, D. Haddad's district houses Brayton Point.
The 300-acre property would use the majority of the space to store turbine foundations and offshore wind components as well as to carry out related manufacturing operations. Offshore wind components are typically larger than onshore wind turbines, making port space critical for storage and transportation. Below is a map of the site developed by the Brayton Point Commerce Center with Anbaric.
The HVDC component is estimated to cost $250 million and the planned storage would cost $400 million.
The high-capacity transmission infrastructure and coupled battery storage would help maximize offshore wind's potential, according to Edward Krapels, Anbaric's CEO.
"An HVDC substation is an important piece not only for Brayton Point Commerce Center, but also Massachusetts’ status as a leader in offshore wind," Krapels said.
The construction will be subject to a number of federal and state permits, although the "use of HVDC helps to minimize some of the environmental impacts," Conant told Utility Dive via email.
"We have an interconnection position with ISO-New England and a system impact study is now being prepared," Conant said.
The center and terminal are being evaluated for possible solar panel installation as well as energy efficient lighting and support systems.
"The transformation of Brayton will give the region a key role in Massachusetts' clean energy future. It promises to benefit the environment while generating jobs and much-needed local tax revenue," state Senate Ways and Means Committee Chairman Michael Rodrigues, D, said in a statement.
The location is deemed ideal due to its proximity to offshore federal wind leasing areas, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center's Wind Technology Testing Center, and access to highway transportation.