GE unit GE Energy Financial Services announced today that it will auction 225 megawatts of bi-directional electricity transfer capacity from its Linden variable frequency transformer (VFT) smart grid project at the intersection of the New York City and PJM power grids.
GE Energy Financial Services will hold the auction in June to sell nine blocks of 25 megawatts of transmission scheduling rights that will become available on November 1, 2012. These blocks can be used by the project’s customers to sell power capacity and energy sourced in the PJM Interconnection, the largest centrally dispatched electric grid in the world, into the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) and its zone serving the New York metropolitan area. Linden VFT customers also can route energy from NYISO to the PJM Interconnection.
The project is capable of transferring 315 megawatts of capacity, enough for up to 315,000 homes, between PJM and NYISO, through its connection to a cable running in bedrock 60 feet beneath the Arthur Kill waterway — originating at GE’s 900-megawatt Linden cogeneration power plant — and connecting to Consolidated Edison’s Goethals substation in the New York City borough of Staten Island.
Since commercial operation began in 2009, the Linden VFT project has operated with 97 percent availability, and has successfully demonstrated the flexibility to flow power in both directions between NYISO and PJM. These variable frequency transformers are helping to stabilize New York City’s and PJM’s power grids, increasing energy reliability and providing consumers with more diverse and lower-cost power sources.
The variable frequency transformers provide a precise control path between electrical grids, permitting power exchanges previously impossible because of technical constraints. They enable transmission system operators at PJM and NYISO to control power flows with high reliability, speed and efficiency, while offering flexibility in how utilities meet growing energy demand.
Four power marketing and trading companies won an initial auction in January 2007 for the Linden VFT’s electric transmission capacity from what GE Energy Financial Services believes was the first merchant US transmission project not dependent on a long-term arrangement with a rate-based entity. The smart grid project builds on GE Energy Financial Services’ 30-year legacy of investment in power transmission and generation. GE Energy Financial Services holds equity investments in power projects which it either operates itself or are operated by third parties with a capacity to produce 30 gigawatts.
GE Energy Financial Services will hold an “open season” to allocate transmission scheduling rights entitling Linden VFT’s customers to determine use of the project.
Bidders can procure up to nine available 25-megawatt blocks for terms ranging from a minimum of one year, up to 10 years and seven months. Bidders are allowed to make multiple offers for the desired number of blocks, where each offer corresponds to a different contract duration.