Transmission developer Anbaric says “opening up competition” for grid links is critical to facilitate offshore wind on the US east coast at least cost.
According to Kevin Knobloch, president of Anbaric’s proposed New York OceanGrid system, dealing with transmission separately to offshore wind generation and allowing competition will “yield both the best ideas and lowest costs for electricity consumers.”
He said: “We believe it is important that no single entity own and/or control the offshore transmission grid, in the spirit of what has worked well over many decades with the onshore grid.”
According to Knobloch there is an opportunity for public leaders to invite the most “thoughtful and creative ideas” from public and private sectors for how to optimally design an offshore wind transmission grid.
“That will likely also involve fine tuning public policies at the federal, regional and state levels to support the effective design, finance, construction and management of that infrastructure,” he said.
Knobloch acknowledges the “encouraging discussion” in New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts about how to think through a planned approach to offshore wind transmission, in light of those states’ ambitious offshore wind goals.
“Ultimately those discussions should include whether there are public benefits in looking at multi-state or regional approaches,” he said.
Anbaric is partnering with Vineyard Wind on the Liberty Wind project in New York’s phase one procurement competition. Vineyard Wind will develop, finance and own the generation portion of the project while Anbaric will develop, finance and own the transmission element.
Knobloch said: “We think that agreement demonstrates how generation and transmission developers can effectively combine their core competencies into a single project.
“It also sets the stage for potential separate treatment of generation and transmission in phase two procurements in New York and other states, whether that turns out to be single projects or a separate focus on planned transmission.”
Because the state procurement ground rules to date have bundled generation and transmission, Knobloch says Anbaric is “actively engaged” with wind developers who are eligible to compete.
“At the same time, we look forward to subsequent phases when there may be transmission-only procurements that invite the most creative ideas for a planned, open access offshore grid,” he adds.
Anbaric’s New York OceanGrid would connect the 9GW of offshore wind energy proposed by Governor Cuomo to the on-shore grid through offshore collector platforms and cables buried underwater and underground.