MOU signed for potential 600 MW of wind in upstate New York

Transmission developer Empire State Connector Corp. has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Invenergy, which is developing a portfolio of up to 600 MW of new Upstate New York wind energy generation projects.

Empire State Connector Corp. is a private company wholly-owned by oneGRID Corp. and Forum Equity Partners. Empire State announced the MOU in a May 12 news release.

Under the agreement, Empire State could deliver the electricity to downstate electricity customers. The wind generation projects represent approximately $1.2bn of new economic development activity in Upstate New York for a total of $2.7bn when combined with the $1.5bn estimated construction cost of the Empire State Connector transmission project.

The MOU confirms Invenergy’s intention to deliver competitively-priced renewable wind generation to customers in New York City on the Empire State Connector transmission project, which could be an important step in implementation of the 50% by 2030 Clean Energy Standard under consideration by the New York State Public Service Commission.

The MOU is an important step towards the commercial viability of the Empire State Connector project and the economic value of upstate New York renewable energy, the transmission company said.

Empire State Connector has already filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for authority to negotiate agreements with customers for transmission service on a 260-mile long high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission line that will deliver 1,000 MW of energy and capacity directly into New York City

Invenergy and its affiliated companies have developed more than 13,700 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 in the United States.

The Empire State Connector that will allow upstate generators to physically deliver energy and capacity directly into New York City via two submarine cables buried in the Erie Canal and the Hudson River.

The underwater route will have minimal environmental impact and no visual impact, the company said. 

“There exists strong interest in our proprietary transmission project as evidenced by this MOU,” said ESC CEO John Douglas said in a news release. “Once our formal solicitation is completed this summer, we look forward to entering into binding service agreements with generators like Invenergy interested to capitalize on our proprietary low impact route. Our private sector solution will help New York State fund other important priorities like education and housing.”

“The ESC represents that opportunity with an experienced team who have a proven track record,” said Invenergy Vice President, Business Development James J. Murphy. “Upstate New York represents a viable and affordable solution for New York to achieve its Clean Energy Standard to become 50 percent renewable by 2030.”

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.