by Paul Ciampoli
APPA News Director
Posted December 2, 2019
Offshore transmission developer Anbaric has filed an application with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) for non-exclusive rights-of-way to develop the Southern New England OceanGrid, an open-access offshore transmission system designed to maximize the region’s offshore wind resources.
Once approved by BOEM, the transmission network on the Outer Continental Shelf would link the existing wind lease areas via a common system and deliver that power to the on-shore grid.
Benefits will include greater efficiency, more reliability, fewer environmental impacts, and the ability to direct the energy to specific areas, like Boston and/or the South Coast, Anbaric said.
The Southern New England OceanGrid would be developed in phases and anticipates an offshore transmission network connecting up to 16,000 MW of offshore wind to Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut.
Additionally, it includes transmission line routes that connect BOEM lease areas directly into Boston, Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay, Massachusetts’ South Coast, and Connecticut to provide offshore wind-generated electricity to area residents.
The project will be built out over a period of 20 years.
Anbaric’s application to BOEM lays out the minimum number of offshore collector platforms and associated transmission corridors to efficiently obtain the maximum amount of clean power from BOEM lease areas off the southern coast of New England.
Anbaric submitted the application to BOEM on November 18 and requested that the federal agency post the application in the Federal Register for public comment no later than January 1, 2020.
Once posted, there will be a 30-day public comment period during which others may indicate that they have a competitive interest. It is also an opportunity for comments on environmental, fishing, historic and cultural resource, tribal, and economic impacts.
Anbaric currently has an application with BOEM for a New York/New Jersey OceanGrid which remains under review.
East Coast states pursuing offshore wind
Several East Coast states are pursuing offshore wind.
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority recently finalized contracts with Equinor Wind US LLC for its 816-megawatt Empire Wind Project and Sunrise Wind LLC for its 880-megawatt Sunrise Wind Project, both of which are offshore wind projects.
In August, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) released a request for proposals that seeks up to 2,000 megawatts of offshore wind.
Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo in May 2018 said that the state had selected Deepwater Wind to construct a new, 400-MW offshore wind farm.
Meanwhile, Mayflower Wind Energy LLC, a joint venture of Shell New Energies US LLC and EDPR Offshore North America LLC, was recently chosen to supply 804 megawatts of energy from an offshore wind project to electricity customers within the state.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on Nov. 19 signed an executive order raising New Jersey’s offshore wind goal from 3,500 megawatts of offshore wind-generated electricity by 2030 to 7,500 MW by 2035.
The executive order will deliver renewable energy generation needed to help meet the state’s goals of 50 percent renewable energy by 2030.