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Anbaric Seeks First Federal OK for Offshore Wind Energy Grid

Nov. 21, 2019, 8:46 PM

Anbaric Development Partners is first in line to seek federal permission to build massive transmission cables that would carry energy from offshore wind turbines into New England.

Anbaric, a Wakefield, Mass., entity specializing in offshore wind transmission, announced Nov. 21 that it filed an application with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to develop what it calls the “Southern New England OceanGrid.”

Most New England states are racing to build offshore wind energy projects to meet clean energy targets. Under a 2008 law, Massachusetts committed to reducing its carbon emissions 80% below 1990 levels by 2050.

But it’s not yet clear how and where the wind projects will link to the power grid, and who will own and control the offshore wind transmission lines.

In Massachusetts alone, five wind developers have leased large swaths of federal waters 14 miles off the coast of the island of Martha’s Vineyard, in preparation for building wind turbines. Underwater cables will carry the wind energy onto shore.

Grid Bids?

Instead of having each offshore project build its own transmission lines, Massachusetts is considering one grand offshore wind transmission system. Different wind projects would then tap into that system to bring their energy to customers.

Massachusetts would seek bids in 2020 from transmission companies interested in building the system, which wind developers could hook up to.

Massachusetts has plans to get 3,200 megawatts of offshore wind power onto its grid by 2035. The $2.8 billion Vineyard Wind would be the nation’s first commercial-scale offshore wind project. It is awaiting federal approval to begin construction of 84 turbines, which would deliver energy by 2022.

Anbaric’s plan is to build an ocean grid to deliver up to 16,000 megawatts of energy to Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. It would build the grid over 20 years.

“Individual wind farm developers have gotten the industry off to a good start, but we now need a networked grid to minimize conflict and create a truly reliable offshore transmission system that will substantially de-risk wind projects,” Edward N. Krapels, Anbaric CEO, said in a statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Adrianne Appel in Boston at aappel@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Gregory Henderson at ghenderson@bloombergenvironment.com; Renee Schoof at rschoof@bloombergenvironment.com; Anna Yukhananov at ayukhananov@bloombergenvironment.com