Federal regulators are allowing Anbaric Development Partners (ADP) to move ahead with a shared transmission system for offshore wind off the coast of Massachusetts.
The US company plans to solicit customers and sell transmission rights to the 2GW to 2.4GW Massachusetts Ocean Grid.
“This is a big, big step for us,” ADP partner Stephen Conant told reNEWS.
The company could run an “open season” process as early as this spring or summer, said Conant.
Offshore wind leaseholders as well as potential power purchasers, such as large corporations, could participate in negotiating capacity and rates.
However, the Massachusetts Ocean Grid is not an option for bidders in the state’s first competitive offshore wind call for 400MW to 800MW now underway. Wind project developers were required to propose their own transmission options.
“We’re looking to get ourselves included in the next round of RFPs”, which is expected in two years, said Conant.
Three developers already hold leases off the coast and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management expects to auction off two more sites this year.
The Anbaric transmission system could also deliver power to Connecticut, Rhode Island and other parts of the New England grid.
“We believe that offshore wind generation and transmission should be separate, as you often see in Europe,” said Conant.
“We expect to provide very competitive prices to ratepayers,” he added.
The Massachusetts Ocean Grid would consist of an offshore electrical service platform (ESP) that would connect via subsea transmission lines to an onshore interconnection point.
Individual wind farm developers would build collector stations for array cables and feed into Anbaric’s ESP.
The first leg of the Massachusetts Ocean Grid could be in place by December 2021 with the full system operating by 2025.