Deepwater Wind transmission system would help supplant Indian Point power, company says

Offshore wind energy developer Deepwater Wind is working on a high-voltage transmission system connecting a planned offshore wind farm to New York and northern New Jersey.

The Submarine Regional Transmission Line will allow the company to supply New York with “firm power,” Deepwater Wind said Sept. 15, noting that it has identified and applied for interconnection positions for the SMRT line in New York City, Long Island, N.Y., and New Jersey.

The New York ISO and PJM Interconnection are studying the transmission project, Deepwater said.

Deepwater Wind also said it has been developing utility-scale offshore wind projects to serve New York City and Long Island for years, including one planned for a site nominated by the Long Island-New York City Offshore Wind Collaborative, which is made up of Consolidated Edison (NYSE:ED) subsidiary Consolidated Edison Co. of New York, the Long Island Power Authority and the New York Power Authority.

The wind developer’s announcement came on the heels of the collaborative’s Sept. 15 announcement regarding its filing of a preliminary lease application with the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement for development rights on the Outer Continental Shelf off of New York, about 13 nautical miles off the south shore of Long Island.

According to the application, the proposed project area is designed to accommodate up to 350 MW of wind generation, with the ability to expand up to 700 MW.

Deepwater Wind CEO William Moore claimed the wind farm and regional transmission network would help replace Entergy’s (NYSE:ETR) Indian Point nuclear power plant with renewable and other sources of energy at costs “close to competitive with new fossil fuel generation.”

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has worked to prevent the federal relicensing of the plant. Indeed, according to a March statement from his office, the plant, among its “other structural and safety flaws,” is located near a fault line and there have been concerns about whether it was designed to withstand the seismic activity that could result from an earthquake.

However, Entergy spokesperson Michael Burns on Sept. 16 called Deepwater’s statement on the plant “presumptuous.”

“We are actively pursuing the relicensing of both Indian Point units – two key sources of 2,100 MW of reliable, clean energy for the New York region – for 20 more years,” he said. “Assuming the relicensing requests are approved, IP Unit 2 and IP Unit 3 will continue producing clean, affordable power through 2033 and 2035, respectively.”

At least one more offshore transmission project is in the works in the mid-Atlantic, namely, the Atlantic Wind Connection backbone transmission project, led by Trans-Elect Development Company, Good Energies, Google and Marubeni.

That project is expected to enable up to 7,000 MW of offshore wind turbine capacity to be integrated into the regional high-voltage grid, according to its website.

The collaborative’s proposal joins other efforts, including Energy Management’s Cape Wind Associates’ proposed power plant off the Massachusetts coast. After years in the permitting process, Cape Wind received the nation’s first lease for commercial wind energy development on the OCS last year.

The collaborative declined to speculate about obstacles, Connie Cullen, deputy director of media relations with NYPA, said Sept. 16.

In response to Deepwater Wind’s statement, Cullen said the collaborative is encouraged by the positive response to the submission of the lease application.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 2807 Articles
Corina Rivera-Linares, chief editor for TransmissionHub, has covered the U.S. power industry for the past 13 years. Before joining TransmissionHub, Corina covered renewable energy and environmental issues, as well as transmission, generation, regulation, legislation and ISO/RTO matters at SNL Financial. She has also covered such topics as health, politics and education for weekly newspapers and national magazines. She can be reached at corinar@pennwell.com.