The proposed 230-kV, 34-mile Grand Isle Intertie Project is the “ideal way” to transport renewable resources like wind energy into New England, according to Bryan Sanderson, senior vice president of Anbaric Transmission.
The company recently released a transmission customer open solicitation for the phase angle regulator (PAR) controlled, alternating current transmission line, which will be capable of flowing 400 MW of electricity between a substation in Plattsburgh, N.Y., and Vermont Electric Power Company’s new Champlain substation to be located near Essex, Vt.
The solicitation is being conducted in accordance with the new guidelines issued by FERC in a final policy statement issued on Jan. 17, Anbaric Transmission added on April 12.
According to the solicitation, Anbaric Holding’s wholly owned subsidiary, GII Development (GIID), is soliciting prospective transmission customers for the project. The purpose of the solicitation is to identify and select a customer or customers with whom GIID will negotiate allocation of up to 100% of the 400 MW of capacity of the project. GIID requests responses by April 30, but earlier responses are encouraged, according to the solicitation.
The project’s preliminary route is about 34 miles, with a submarine cable crossing Lake Champlain, and the project will mostly follow existing transmission line corridor in New York and Vermont.
Prospective customers who respond to the solicitation should anticipate an in-service date for the project by May 1, 2016.
Permitting will begin this summer, which will allow 18 months for permitting, six months for financing and 12 months of construction.
Threshold criteria to select prospective transmission customers with whom to negotiate calls for respondents to have investment grade credit according to generally accepted principles in the financial community, or equivalent means of securing credit support for the project’s agreed upon rate structure.
Other criteria includes that respondents must be willing to sign contracts for 20 years, but GIID is willing to consider shorter durations if a potential customer is bidding a resource into a request for proposal (RFP) in New England that would result in a long-term contract and the tenor of a contract resulting from that RFP is less than 20 years.
Additional metrics noted that a respondent’s level of experience in developing and/or operating generation resources for which they are seeking transmission service will be given added consideration. Similarly, load respondents’ experience with executing long-term contracts with generation will be given added consideration.
Among other things, the solicitation also said that GIID will select parties with whom it will negotiate by May 31.
“We expect to attract substantial interest in the capacity of the line,” Ed Krapels, founder of Anbaric Transmission, said in the April 12 statement. “This solicitation process is one of many steps in a long process whereby the environmental, economic and grid reliability value of this project to the participants and to the region will be established.”
Sanderson told TransmissionHub on April 18: “Following the solicitation, we will create a short list of potential customers we’d like to negotiate further with and that will be internal. We’ll commence negotiations with various parties and select those that we feel meet our criteria the best and ensure the greatest chance of success in the project.”
Potential customers will either be generators in New York that wish to sell power to New England, or New England customers that would prefer power or capacity or renewable energy credits (RECs) from New York, or trading organizations that would want to transport power.
“We see several products being able to move across the line, one is energy, two are RECs and three are capacity,” Sanderson added.
“We’re preparing to begin the permitting process this summer and at some point thereafter, we will make a filing with FERC for market-based rates,” he said.
The aspects of the project are “very preliminary,” Sanderson said, adding: “The routing is preliminary. We are undergoing studies of various routing alternatives right now … [and] the routing is subject to change.”
The length of the line is subject to change as well, he said.
Anbaric does not have an estimated cost for the project yet.
“When we look at the markets, we see a growing demand for renewable energy in New England,” Sanderson added. “Collectively, the New England states require about 400 [MW] to 500 MW equivalent of new wind projects each year, the development of which is constrained due to siting difficulties and transmission bottlenecks. At the same time, we see a lot of potential development in northern New York that is similarly hampered by transmission constraints within the state. [This project] is the ideal way to move wind or other renewables into New England.”