Invenergy teams with Hydro-Quebec for wind-hydro combo in New England

Backers of the Vermont Green Line transmission project on Jan. 28 said that the project will boost efforts to get clean energy into New England, including energy generated by power project developer Invenergy LLC

Three experienced organizations have filed with a three-state consortium that last year issued a Clean Energy RFP a proposal to diversify the region’s energy supply, adding clean energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The proposal, dubbed “The Wind and Hydro Response,” is designed to fit a request by Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Massachusetts for more clean energy to help fuel the region’s future growth.

Invenergy, the largest independent owner and operator of renewables, is a U.S.-based company. The company will deliver its renewable energy to the ISO New England bulk transmission system through the Vermont Green Line. Hydro-Québec, North America’s largest generator of hydropower, will supplement these deliveries to ensure that a firm block of clean, renewable energy is delivered around the clock.

The Vermont Green Line is being developed by Anbaric and National Grid, which joined forces in 2014 to develop transmission lines to bring renewable energy into New England. Their alliance created the Vermont Green Line, a proposed 60-mile, 400-MW transmission cable system designed to link Beekmantown, New York, with New Haven, Vermont, via a cable to be buried along public roadways and submerged beneath the waters of Lake Champlain.

Invenergy now proposes to build a new wind generation facility to be served by this project, called the Bull Run Energy Center. This new wind project, located approximately 20 miles northwest of Plattsburgh, New York, could deliver up to 400 MW. The wind energy would be supplemented with hydropower supplied over the existing transmission grid by Hydro-Québec. The company will supply “The Wind and Hydro Response” up to 400 MW of new, verified hydropower generated by its Québec hydropower stations.

“Invenergy works to solve the energy challenges that face our communities and we are proud to work with Hydro-Québec, Anbaric and National Grid on this exciting opportunity in New England,” said Invenergy Vice President of Development, Kevin Parzyck. “Combining wind generation with firming hydro will positively transform energy supply in the region.”

“Our collaborative effort advances New England’s transition to clean energy,” said Edward Krapels, CEO of Anbaric. “We believe that our combined track record of success will prove to be a clear differentiator as we submit our response to the Clean Energy Request for Proposals from Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.”

“This project offers a multitude of wins for the region, the states that issued the RFP and the project host states,” said Stan Blazewicz, Vice President of Business Development at National Grid. “The region will benefit from the addition of a significant amount of new, clean energy; electricity customers will see lower prices, and the host communities will gain additional revenues and economic development opportunities.”

Invenergy is in the middle of a public outreach program mandated by the New York State Public Service Commission for its proposed Bull Run Wind Energy Center. Numerous residents and stakeholders joined Invenergy representatives last October at Northern Adirondack Central High School in Ellenburg for an open dialogue about the project, which will be located on about 24,000 acres of private land. The project as it currently exists would consist of 50-100 wind turbines, with a total capacity of up to 300 MW. Bull Run Energy LLC (BRE) in September 2015 filed with the New York PSC a revised Public Involvement Program (PIP) plan, which is a precursor to its planned application to build this wind project.

BRE intends to construct, own, operate, and maintain all components of the project, except for the interconnection switchyard which will be constructed by BRE and then transferred to the New York Power Authority (NYPA). BRE anticipates the interconnection facilities will include a 230-kV switchyard built adjacent to NYPA’s Ryan-Plattsburgh 230-kV transmission line and an overhead 230-kV interconnection line about four miles long.

Hydro-Québec said in its own Jan. 28 statement that increased deliveries of hydropower are being offered through the Clean Energy Request for Proposals (RFP) launched in 2015 by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. This offer, designed to respond to the specific issues facing the six-state power system, presents New England with an unmatched opportunity to begin its transition to a clean and diversified energy future of significant scale and longevity, the Canadian utility said.

Through the Northern Pass Transmission Project, which is being bid into the Clean Energy RFP by Hydro-Quebec partner Eversource Energy, Hydro Quebec will deliver a significant quantity of clean energy into the New England Power Pool for decades to come. This new transmission line will be built by Eversource Energy for the New Hampshire portion and Hydro-Québec for the portion in Québec. Once constructed, this line will be a major intertie between the Québec and New England grids, second only to Phase II, which has been delivering significant amounts of energy into New England since the 1980s.

Hydro-Quebec said it would also offer energy supply to supplement wind generation to be delivered into New England over the Vermont Green Line, being developed by Anbaric and National Grid.

The Clean Energy RFP website shows this upcoming schedule under the RFP program:

  • Due date for proposals – Jan. 28, 2016
  • Selection of bidders – April 26-July 26, 2016
  • Electricity distribution companies execute contracts – June 23-Sept. 22, 2016
  • Submit contracts for regulatory approval – July 26-Oct. 25, 2016
  • Regulatory approvals – 2016

Invenergy’s home office is located in Chicago and it has regional development offices in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Japan and Europe. Invenergy and its affiliated companies have developed more than 10,300 MW of projects that are in operation, in construction, or under contract, including wind, solar, and natural gas-fueled power generation projects and energy storage facilities.

Anbaric, headquartered in Wakefield, Massachusetts, has a track record of leadership in developing competitively selected High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) transmission projects in New York. Anbaric is also developing a series of large microgrids, known too as distributed energy systems.

National Grid (LSE: NG; NYSE: NGG) is an electricity and gas company that connects consumers to energy sources through its networks. In the Northeast U.S., National Grid connects more than seven million gas and electric customers to vital energy sources.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.