National Grid Presents Vermont Green Line Proposal

National Grid Presents Vermont Green Line Proposal

Article originally appears on suncommunitynews.com, 01.26.16

BEEKMANTOWN — Torn up roads and loud construction sites possibly lie ahead for Beekmantown residents.

A few weeks ago, Joe Rossignoli of National Grid and Mike Relyea of Amanus, a consulting group that is working with Anabaric on an energy transfer project, presented their finalized proposal of the Vermont Green Line project to the town council.

The project aims to bring clean and affordable on-shore wind and hydropower to New England via a new 400 megawatt high power DC transmission line.

The $650 million proposed project will require 6.7 miles of underground cable in New York.

The line will carry DC wind power from new wind farms in the northern part of Clinton and Franklin counties 40 miles under Lake Champlain and 13.3 miles to a station in New Haven, Vermont, where power would then be distributed to southern New England communities.

“It’s an ongoing process,” Relyea said “But we plan on working with the county and community and answer any questions they may have.”

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Energy Interests Bid For Poll Position Ahead of 2016 Debate

By Michael P. Norton

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE

(article originally appears at statehousenews.com)

STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, DEC. 3, 2015…..Ahead of what could be the Great Energy Debate of 2016, industry stakeholders are aiming to position themselves in the eyes of lawmakers.

Two organizations recently commissioned polls and the results are not that surprising – Massachusetts voters generally like renewable energy.

State lawmakers like renewable energy too, based on the passage in recent years of laws aimed at substantially reducing greenhouse gas emissions, encouraging cities and towns to live by “green communities” standards, and creating a state center dedicated to clean energy.

As they encounter lobbying from competing interests in and around the energy industry, legislators are weighing short-term and long-term price and reliability considerations in addition to the preferred blend of power sources – natural gas, hydro, wind, solar and others.

But common ground on renewable policies isn’t always attainable.

In 2010, the Legislature famously left unfinished a comprehensive bill with support from both chambers to accelerate the development of land-based wind energy projects.

And just last month, lawmakers couldn’t agree on modest changes to solar energy incentives after debates that exposed deep philosophical divides among legislators, utilities and renewable energy advocates.

Solar advocates claimed the state is backtracking on its support for the industry and sending a cold message to solar investors, while utilities and business groups have raised flags about the cost of renewable energy subsidies. One of the business groups, Associated Industries of Massachusetts, warned that expanding solar subsidies “would pump billions of dollars into the pockets of solar energy developers.”

A solar accord could emerge soon, as all parties seem to want to keep some of the jobs and benefits of clean energy flowing, but the House-Senate solar stalemate of late 2015 may not bode well for a potential 2016 accord on a larger and more complex energy bill.

Mindful that Pilgrim Nuclear Station, a major energy supplier in recent decades, now plans to power down in the next few years, energy interests are turning to public opinion surveys.

According to one poll, 64 percent of voters attached a higher level of importance to making sure carbon-free energy replaces the power Massachusetts will lose when Pilgrim shuts down.

“We wanted to provide some information for legislators on where the public stood on the energy issue,” said Anbaric Transmission founder and director Edward Krapels of Andover, a Netherlands native and former financial advisor and risk management consultant. “The time has come finally for the states to look at this and select what they want to get from the next energy procurements.”

The poll question, asked of 500 registered voters Nov. 9-12, instructed survey takers to rank, on a scale of 1 to 10, how important they thought it was to ensure that the energy that replaces Pilgrim’s power is carbon-free. Sixty-four percent answered an 8 or above, with 42 percent saying it was the most important factor.

“We’ve been arguing the benefits are a two-fer,” said Krapels. “Wind and hydro together, you really get unique sorts of benefits. We like the combo platter idea that has surfaced in recent discussions at the State House.”

Anbaric is working on the Maine Green Line project intended to move 1,000 megawatts of “renewable” power from Maine to eastern Massachusetts, as well as the Vermont Green Line project, which is designed to deliver renewable power to New England from northern New York.

MassINC Polling Group also asked survey takers: “There are a number of proposals for new pipeline and transmission lines to bring additional energy sources into Massachusetts. These new projects would bring natural gas, hydro power, and a combination of wind and hydro power to consumers and businesses. What energy source do you think would be most beneficial for the future of Massachusetts?”

Thirty-seven percent said a combination of wind and hydro power, 17 percent said natural gas, 7 percent said hydro power, 26 percent said all of the above, 5 percent said none of the above, and 7 percent said they did not know or refused to answer the question.

Another poll of 500 likely voters, conducted Nov. 9-14 by Opinion Dynamics for clean power and electricity transmission companies, asked voters their opinion about legislation that would encourage utilities to enter into long-term contracts for wind and hydro power to provide electricity for the state’s homes and business. Fifty-two percent said they strongly favor passage of such legislation, with 29 percent saying they somewhat favor, 6 percent somewhat opposed, 9 percent strongly opposed and 4 percent of respondents said they didn’t know.

A coalition that commissioned the poll includes Brookfield Renewable, Emera Clean Power, Hydro-Québec, Nalcor Energy, SunEdison and TDI New England. Coalition organizers say they plan to make a formal announcement about their goals in early 2016.

Even Cape Wind, the long-planned Nantucket Sound wind turbine project, wants in on next year’s energy legislation. In addition to battling lawsuits from project opponents, Cape Wind has had difficulty assembling financing and power-purchase agreements with utilities.

During a recent interview with Jim Braude on Greater Boston, Cape Wind President Jim Gordon said the project had overcome lawsuits for 14 years but still faced two more. The project still has a lease and is permitted, said Gordon, who still hopes to move it forward some day.

“There’s an energy bill going through now, which is being worked on, where there is . . . trying to get a diversified portfolio of renewable energy and a carve-out for offshore wind and that’s why you see a number of these companies here coming in and trying to develop offshore wind farms,” Gordon said.

Bay State Wind is DONG Energy’s first US project and entails an up-to 1,000 megawatt offshore wind farm off the southern coast of Martha’s Vineyard, in an area that the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has made available for lease. Water depth in the area ranges from 135 to 165 feet and the nearest land is 15 miles away. The potential energy from the project could power over 500,000 homes.

While describing Bay State Wind as at the start of a multi-year permitting process, Gordon added, “I hope they make it and I’m glad that they’re here because we were a lonely voice in the wilderness for many years extolling the benefits of what offshore wind could do for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.”

Gordon said there was more renewable energy generation installed this year in the U.S. and the world than conventional fossil-fuel generation. He said his company had developed more than $1 billion in renewable energy generation, including what he called the largest biomass plant in the U.S. in Gainsville, Florida.

“In this environment where people are concerned about climate change and their health, they want renewable energy,” Gordon said. “That’s the shift.”

Long-Awaited Transmission Request Boosts Regional Energy

WILSON RING, ASSOCIATED PRESS

November 24, 2015 Updated: November 24, 2015 1:33pm

 

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Companies designing projects to bring clean electricity to southern New England say they’re grateful Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island have finally made a request for proposals to carry that power to the region.

But meeting the region’s longer-term goal of expanding the use of renewable electricity from wind, solar and hydro-electricity will require more transmission capacity than the states requested, said Edward Krapels, the CEO of Anbaric Transmission, which is proposing one project in Maine and another Vermont.

“Having several states work together is just very constructive and allows larger scale renewable projects to get built, and we like that,” Krapels said Tuesday.

The southern New England states are looking for clean renewable energy as part of a broader effort to reduce electricity costs and provide reliable sources of power as other aging power plants go offline. The region’s governors committed to working together in 2013.

“The aggressive carbon reduction targets that all of the states have really committed to does require a super-regional perspective,” said Marc Montalvo, the president of Daymark Energy Advisers of Boston. “The ability to take advantage of the most economic sources of low-carbon power is a smart and sensible thing to do.”

The idea is intended to “get better deals for ratepayers when we go shopping together,” said Katie Dykes, deputy commissioner for energy at the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

“We expect developers to be sharpening their pencils and giving us their proposals,” said Dykes.

Contracts for renewable energy will be selected by the middle of next year, with regulatory approvals also expected in 2016.

Projects for transmission and power generation will be brought online incrementally with a commercial operating date of no later than Dec. 31, 2020, for bids Connecticut is seeking.

Four large-scale transmission projects are being discussed publicly in the region: Anbaric’s projects in Maine and Vermont, the Northern Pass project that would bring Canadian power into the region through New Hampshire, and TDI New England, which would carry Canadian power down Lake Champlain and then across Vermont to where it would feed the regional power grid.

But more could be coming.

“I would anticipate there will be lots of projects in Maine as a result of this solicitation,” said Patrick Woodcock, director of Maine’s state energy office.

Andrew Rush, a spokesman for TDI, said his company is eager to carry clean power to southern New England from Canada. Meanwhile, his company has issued a request of its own, a solicitation for power producers that would use the line to get electricity to potential southern New England customers.

“We would think this RFP would certainly be of interest to a lot of those potential users of the line,” Rush said.

_____

Reporter Stephen Singer in Hartford, Connecticut, contributed to this report.

 

09.29.15: Anbaric’s Ed Krapels Testifies Before MA Joint Committee of Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy

09.29.15

My name is Ed Krapels and I am the President of Anbaric, a developer of large scale transmission projects as well as small, medium and large scale micro-grid projects. Anbaric has developed two large scale transmission projects in New York, projects that were completed on time and on budget that are currently saving New York ratepayers money.

I am here today to raise the issue of transmission and the critical role it will need to play if we are to reliably meet our clean energy goals and diversify our energy portfolio in an economic and efficient manner.

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Baker: New England Must Sacrifice to Lower Costs

via RTOInsider

BOSTON — New England’s states may have to set aside their self-interests to overcome high energy prices that are slowing the region’s economy, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker told the 2015 ISO-NE Regional Plan meeting on Thursday.

The first-term Republican said the region’s competitive advantages are at risk, citing a “sense of desperation” among his fellow governors over energy costs.
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Charlie Baker Seeks Aggressive Steps To Address High Power Costs

via BostonGlobe, 9/11/15

Governor Charlie Baker attended power grid overseer ISO New England’s meeting in Boston on Thursday to make the case for his administration’s efforts to bring more electricity and natural gas into the state.

Baker said aggressive steps need to be taken to address the high costs of power in Massachusetts, a problem that constituents regularly raise with him. A report released Wednesday by the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation said Massachusetts industrial customers pay the third-highest electric rates in the country, after Hawaii’s and Alaska’s.

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Clean Energy Transmission For New England

By Ed Krapels, founder and director of Anbaric

(originally appears in MASSterlist, 09/09/15)

As ISO New England meets today to review our region’s energy needs, last winter might seem a distant memory. But for the agency responsible for literally keeping our lights on—and our iPhones charged and machine shops humming—it is a key moment.

Despite the record-setting snowfall in 2015, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported that “2014 was the warmest year across global land and ocean surfaces since records began in 1880…Including 2014, nine of the 10 warmest years in the 135-year period of record have occurred in the 21st century.”

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Company Proposes $200 Million Power Project

via PressRepublican, 09.04.15

PLATTSBURGH — A Massachusetts energy company is proposing a $200 million transmission project for the North Country.

Known as the Vermont Green Line, it would deliver renewable energy from new wind farms in the northern part of Clinton and Franklin counties through an underwater cable on the bottom of Lake Champlain to southern New England.

“This region has great potential for wind farms, and there is a market for this energy in New England, and we want to be part of that,” Bryan Sanderson, senior vice president of Anbaric, an energy company out of Wakefield, Mass., told the Press-Republican.

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The Case for HVDC

T&D World Magazine, 06.23.15

While the rest of the world is moving ahead with extensive transmission builds employing high-voltage direct-current (HVDC) technology, the U.S. lags in using this technology to strengthen the electric grid. This is especially true of the Eastern Interconnection, where HVDC transmission is still uncommon. (Read More…)