Underground, underwater 500 MW HVDC Poseidon transmission project to be in service in June 2016

Poseidon Transmission continues to work on its proposed 500 MW HVDC Poseidon Project, which is a link between PJM Interconnection in New Jersey and the downstate New York grid in Long Island, and is expected to be in service in June 2016.

In May, Poseidon submitted a response to the New York Power Authority’s (NYPA) request for proposals (RFP) that NYPA issued in April for possible replacement power if the 2,040-MW Indian Point nuclear plant has to be shut.

The two Indian Point reactor units, owned by Entergy (NYSE:ETR), are seeking 20-year license extensions from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, but face significant local opposition.

The New York Public Service Commission (PSC) in March ordered the RFP to be issued, after beginning an investigation in November 2012, about whether new energy sources are needed in case the licenses for each of the two Indian Point units cannot be extended, according to Poseidon’s response.

NYPA on April 3 issued the RFP for a target of 1,350 MW of generation and transmission resources.

According to its response to NYPA, Poseidon is a special purpose vehicle whose members are subsidiaries of Anbaric Transmission, which helped develop the Neptune and Hudson transmission lines, and Exelon (NYSE:EXC) subsidiary Exelon Transmission Company. Anbaric Poseidon, an Anbaric Transmission subsidiary, is the lead member of the consortium.

Poseidon’s response to the RFP was made in May, Bryan Sanderson, senior vice president of Anbaric told TransmissionHub on July 15, adding that it took a while for some of the information to be redacted and for the filing to be posted on the PSC’s website.

The document’s filing date on that site is listed as July 1.

“Our target in-service date [for the project] is June 1, 2016,” Sanderson said, adding that construction would begin at the beginning of 2015.

No cost information is being released, he said.

Poseidon said the energy and capacity supplied by the underwater and underground cable will provide reliability benefits to southeastern New York, help make possible NYPA’s stated goal of allowing Indian Point to close, offers low-cost energy to Long Island’s ratepayers, increases wholesale competition in the electricity industry and delivers a clean environmental profile.

The project’s 500 MW of low-cost energy will save ratepayers $53.6m annually, according to the company.

The point of interconnection is at the Ruland Road substation in the Town of Huntington in Long Island, within the area designated Zone K by the New York ISO (NYISO), Poseidon said.

The project connects to withdrawal and injection points that are “at the heart” of PJM’s 500-kV bulk power grid and Long Island’s 138-kV transmission and distribution network, respectively the Public Service Enterprise Group (NYSE:PEG) (PSEG) Deans substation in South Brunswick, N.J., and the Ruland Road substation in Huntington, N.Y., the company said.

The company noted that the system-to-system link would replace the 433 MW of energy that Long Island typically obtains from Indian Point and anchors Long Island’s ratepayers to PJM’s “lower-cost, high-efficiency energy portfolio” through the cable, which is modeled after the Neptune Regional Transmission System.

The HVDC technology and converter stations mirror Neptune’s 98% availability rating.

According to TransmissionHub data, the Neptune project is a 65-mile, 500-kV HVDC transmission line that begins at Sayreville, N.J., and ends at North Hempstead, N.Y.

 According to the filing, the Poseidon project employs ABB’s HVDC Light converter stations coupled with about 82 miles of cable, adding that ABB’s design includes reactive capability providing voltage support service and black start capability. The benefits of such technology include reactive power support and a smaller footprint relative to HVDC Classic designs.

The company also noted that it has requested 525 MW of firm transmission withdrawal rights (FTWRs) for energy and capacity from PJM at the Deans substation and 500 MW that can be used as unforced deliverability rights (UDRs) from NYISO.

“The combination of FWTRs from PJM and UDRs from NYISO provide a path for 500 MW of unforced capacity and associated energy to be delivered to the heart of Long Island’s electricity grid,” Poseidon said.

The estimated length of the transmission facility is 82 miles – 48 miles underwater and 34 miles on land underground.

The buried HVDC cable will exit the Deans substation buried in the existing PSEG 500-kV transmission right-of-way (ROW) and head easterly under the New Jersey Turnpike, or I-95, and will follow existing PSEG 500-kV transmission ROW until reaching the town of Helmetta, where it meets an existing Conrail ROW.

Where the 500-kV overhead transmission intersects the Conrail ROW, the cable will turn northwards, occupying a part of that ROW and heading north/northeast to the Raritan River where it will enter the water and proceed easterly, buried under the Atlantic Ocean until it makes landfall through horizontal directional drilling in New York.

In New York, Poseidon added, the cable will proceed north, buried under Jones Beach State Park, to the Wantagh Parkway.

Among other things, the company said that once within Bethpage State Park, the cable will proceed along the Long Island Power Authority’s (LIPA) 138-kV overhead ROW through the park, several state and local roads to the intersection of Route 110.

The cable will then proceed across Route 110 to Ruland Road where Poseidon’s converter station will be located about 2,500 feet from the LIPA Ruland Road 138-kV substation in Huntington, the point of injection in New York.

The project is in an advanced stage of development, with site control for the two converter stations being virtually secured – one agreement is signed and the other is awaiting final signatures.

The interconnection process has advanced in NYISO and PJM and the New York State Article VII application process has been initiated along with development of an environmental assessment.

Poseidon also noted that the equipment vendor and engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor have been chosen. Supporting contractors for environmental, legal, regulatory and technical support have been engaged and Exelon is funding the equity share of the project’s development cost.

“Permanent financing is expected to be provided through 70-80% debt and 20-30% equity,” Poseidon said, noting that Exelon is expected to provide the permanent equity. “With the backing of a contract for the project, we anticipate that debt financing will be available through the commercial bank markets, the public debt markets, private placement institutional markets, or a combination thereof.”

The targeted June 1, 2016 in-service date assumes the project is selected by next September, the company said.

As for proposed dates for any PSC or FERC orders deemed necessary to achieve the June 1, 2016 target, Poseidon said that the most significant target date is Dec. 1, 2013 for FERC market-based authority.

Among other things, Poseidon noted that separately, Exelon Generating Company is offering to NYPA a generation proposal for energy and capacity from PJM. The offer is on an a la carte basis to NYPA, meaning that NYPA may choose the transmission proposal, the generation proposal, or both, but need not choose both proposals.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3111 Articles
Corina Rivera-Linares, chief editor for TransmissionHub, has covered the U.S. power industry for the past 15 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 clinares@endeavorb2b.com.