Anbaric CEO discusses progress on Vermont Green Line, Maine Green Line, Poseidon projects

Anbaric Transmission is “deep in the belly of the whale in both New York and Vermont” as far as the permitting process goes for the proposed 230-kV Vermont Green Line project, company CEO Edward Krapels told TransmissionHub.

“We’re also in the middle of the interconnection process in [the New York ISO] and ISO New England,” he said.

The Green Line Infrastructure Alliance, a partnership between National Grid and Anbaric, proposes to build the 60-mile, underground and underwater electric transmission cable to deliver 400 MW of clean energy to New England, enough to power 240,000 homes during peak demand, according to Anbaric. The preferred cable route will interconnect with the existing 230-kV AC power grid at a new converter station in Beekmantown, N.Y., travel under Lake Champlain, and connect to the 345-kV AC system with another new converter station in New Haven, Vt. All land cables will be underground, Anbaric added, noting that the cable will operate at +/-150-kV – DC. The project is expandable to 800 MW as the need arises in the future. Anbaric also said that permitting for the project will begin in 2016, with construction scheduled to begin in 2017, and the project could be in service by 2019/2020.

Of the Vermont Green Line, Krapels said, “[W]e have designed it to be able to carry a wind and hydro combination.”

He noted that the New England states have designated wind as a “Class 1 resource” and the renewable portfolio standards (RPSs) require Class 1 resources to various degrees of stringency, so getting wind into New England is one of the primary purposes of the project.

“New England states have also, with various degrees of intensity, said that they like hydro, and so the combination of wind and hydro is very much behind the design of the Vermont Green Line,” Krapels said.

The purpose of the Maine Green Line is very similar, he said, adding that it is a wind and hydro dual-purpose line.

“It is designed to connect northern Maine to southeast Massachusetts using, for the most part, the Atlantic Ocean, so we avoid a lot of the overhead transmission controversies by putting the line” underwater, he said.

National Grid USA, in cooperation with Anbaric, is planning the Maine Green Line project, according to Anbaric. The project involves an approximately 300-mile, 320-kV HVDC transmission line that will run underwater and above ground between Maine and Massachusetts. Anbaric also said that by combining wind and hydroelectric generation sources, the Maine Green Line will deliver 1,000 MW of clean and affordable energy to the New England Grid. The project’s in service year is 2021.

“[I]t is very much aimed at harvesting what we think [are] thousands of megawatts of wind that [are] available for development in upstate Maine, but [are] having trouble getting developed and financed because there is no transmission,” Krapels said.

He also said: “We are in the middle of the permitting planning process … in the ISO, and in Maine and in Massachusetts. So, from a process standpoint, it’s a little bit behind the Vermont Green Line.”

Another project that is progressing is the Poseidon project, which according to Anbaric, is a proposed HVDC electric transmission system that will deliver 500 MW of low-cost energy to Long Island, N.Y.; that energy is capable of powering about 500,000 homes. The 78-mile Poseidon route begins in South Brunswick, N.J., and interconnects in Long Island at the Ruland Road substation in Melville. The project will connect Long Island to the PJM Interconnection Power Market, “with 180,000 MW of affordable, clean and reliable energy,” Anbaric added. The line will be buried over its entire length: underground in New York and New Jersey and underneath the Raritan Bay, the outer New York harbor and the Atlantic Ocean. Anbaric also said that Poseidon will achieve hundreds of millions of dollars in cost savings for Long Island ratepayers, which will afford Long Island decision makers flexibility to accomplish such strategic goals as investing in renewables and repowering older generation plants. The project is expected to be in service in 2020.

Krapels said the construction start date is now estimated in 2017 – construction had previously been estimated to begin this year.

Regarding the lengthy environmental and permitting process, he said, “[W]e realize that these are important projects and they need to be vetted very thoroughly by a lot of different stakeholders, so it’s not something that, I think, we can compress into a much shorter time frame.”

Exelon (NYSE:EXC) is Anbaric’s development partner on the Poseidon project, he said.

On whether Anbaric is working on any other project with National Grid and/or Exelon, Krapels said: “Not at this time. We are looking at the market and hope to develop a number of additional projects, but it’s a little bit over the horizon. We’re not ready to announce anything yet, but we are definitely hoping to continue to develop new projects in other parts of the country.”

In light of such matters as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Clean Power Plan and state RPSs, he said that this kind of infrastructure is “awfully important.”

He continued, “[W]e’re falling behind in meeting [the RPSs] and those are kind of the law of the land, so we have to build transmission to bring large-scale renewable energy into the grid, [and] we need to adapt the grid for clean energy.”

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3197 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.