FERC advances transmission line to serve Massachusetts' offshore wind industry
- Federal regulators have authorized Anbaric Development Partners to move ahead with an offshore transmission network that would service Massachusetts' planned wind industry, and would be capable of moving 2,000 MW to 2,400 MW.
- In 2016, Massachusetts directed utilities to procure 1,600 MW of clean, offshore wind energy within the next decade, and an initial request for proposals (RFP) drew in a trio of projects vying to supply 400 MW.
- ADP is planning to bring the first segment of its Massachusetts Ocean Grid online by December 2021, with the full system operating by 2025.
Massachusetts' plans for significant offshore wind resources will also require offshore transmission. Generators can propose their own, but ADP is betting that a centralized system would attract customers and make more sense for everyone.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission this week authorized ADP to go ahead with the concept, granting the company permission to sell rights on its backbone transmission system to wind developers at negotiated rates. The Massachusetts Ocean Grid aims to provide a common offshore interconnection point for multiple wind developers, said ADP CEO Edward Krapels in a statement.
"The transmission backbone must be carefully designed to optimize the limited number of on-shore interconnection points, maximize competition among wind generators, and minimize the environmental impact of the transmission needed to bring offshore wind to market," Krapels said.
The project would include a pair of 1,000 MW HVDC transmission lines that that would deliver electricity to the Southeast Massachusetts Load Zone (SEMA) in ISO New England. The project will also include two 1,000 MW offshore platforms with AC switching stations that are linked by a subsea AC cable. Those would be sited near offshore wind lease blocks identified by the federal government.
The two 1,000 MW HVDC transmission cables will connect to HVDC convertor stations at two separate 345 kV substations located in SEMA.
- Renewables Now Massachusetts Ocean Grid project gets FERC green light
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