New England Electrical Grid

millerm277

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As more and more get built, NIMBYism about undersea cables will increase
I'm skeptical of this. I just don't think a thing people can't see and they don't live near can really galvanize NIMBYism in the same way as the turbines themselves or on-shore transmission lines can. Feels too abstract and distant to matter to most people, in my view.
 

LtKije

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boem.gov has wonderful resources on all of these projects. Here is a list of all the existing lease areas for example: https://www.boem.gov/renewable-energy/lease-and-grant-information and here is a page where they go state by state: https://www.boem.gov/renewable-energy/state-activities

I like the attached map because it shows the areas as well as the company and project names. Unfortunately it doesn’t extend further south, as there are a couple more lease areas and projects off Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia, but that’s not really relevant for a forum about Boston. Also, there’s already been some more work done to refine the green areas in the New York Bight that will be leased likely later this year. Note that the real estate gets leased by the federal government first, then developers have to win a contract to sell power through one of the state-level solicitations, THEN the projects go through permitting. It’s a long process and not all of these areas will necessarily be developed.

If you want to play around with dynamic maps and layer on conflicting uses like fishing, you can do so using the data explorer at northeastoceandata.org or marinecadastre.gov/nationalviewer

I know NIMBYism about undersea cables seems odd, but it’s already come up on Martha’s Vineyard where they want to limit the number of cables going through the Muskeget Channel between the Vineyard and Nantucket. There’s also concern about when the cables make landfall and what the impacts are on beaches.

3BDF138E-24A7-465F-A40F-5681C1946442.jpeg
 
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Arlington

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I was surprised upthread by The idea that people oppose landfall of undersea power cables. I know that was true for the LI-CT one but I’d assumed that was because they were new

Now that we know there’s nothing to look at and nothing to listen to, my guess would be people will try to object to things in their view shed any random way, but I can’t see cables making landfall to be a thing that will attract increasing opposition
 

F-Line to Dudley

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I was surprised upthread by The idea that people oppose landfall of undersea power cables. I know that was true for the LI-CT one but I’d assumed that was because they were new

Now that we know there’s nothing to look at and nothing to listen to, my guess would be people will try to object to things in their view shed any random way, but I can’t see cables making landfall to be a thing that will attract increasing opposition
Rich cottage-goers. NIMBY'ism is the perk of membership.
 

Arlington

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When you say “Limit the number of cables in the Muskeget channel” how many will the wind farm want versus how many does MV think is too many? Did each of 7 (?) franchisees (8 franchise areas) picture laying their own cabe to the Cape? Or multiple?

Are the franchise holders willing to work together to share leads to the mainland? Besides the lead to the Cape, seems the could do a “pick any 4” out of
Montauk
Rhode Island
Newport
Narragansett
Fall River
New Bedford
Nantucket
Martha’s Vineyard
Cape #2
Cape #3
 
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F-Line to Dudley

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Sure, NIMBYs gonna NIM, but I can’t quite see it dialing UP from the last 10 years of pearl clutching
You'd be surprised. They watch their politicians take bigger and bigger poo-flinging stunts in the name of tribalism...learn to apply the same to their own tribe. It doesn't happen everywhere...but remember just how extremely rich you have to be by orders of magnitude to be a beachfront property owner on the Cape, Islands, or Long Island Sound shorelines.
 

Vagabond

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Not just NIMBYs here. Transmission lines (not the array cabling) are very expensive to lay down so efficiencies would be beneficial, but also have some national security implications as the grid gets more reliant on new infrastructure. We don't really know the level of redundancy and optimal substation locations.
 

LtKije

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When you say “Limit the number of cables in the Muskeget channel” how many will the wind farm want versus how many does MV think is too many? Did each of 7 (?) franchisees (8 franchise areas) picture laying their own cabe to the Cape? Or multiple?
Using AC, you need one for every 400 MW. So Vineyard Wind will use two cables, in separate trenches I believe. With HVDC you can cut it down to two cables in a single trench for 1,200 MW, reducing seabed impacts. (Though I don’t work in the engineering side of the industry so I may be missing some nuances.) I want to say the Vineyard residents wanted to limit to 3 cables but I may be misremembering. Here’s an article about it. https://www.oilandgas360.com/u-s-of...own-commission-rejects-cables-feds-delay-eis/

Regardless, given the huge targets all these states have, and limitations on where the grid is strong enough for them to interconnect, there is concern that all the cables will start to look like spaghetti on the sea floor (attached image shows one possible scenario studied by Tufts). But hopefully as the first projects come online, people will realize that it’s actually not such a big impact, especially since it’s facilitating 100% clean energy.
7157D042-2A2F-4E68-BCDF-1522F9B1F03C.jpeg
 
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Arlington

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Great picture! (As mod, it edited it in as a full-size insert; Please consider working with the tools to insert larger-size images. Pictures are much-valued)

Its a little silly that the government didn't seem to have required that franchisees be able to run their cable through each other's franchises--and Bay State Wind's tiny little arm seems to block easy western routings.
nor do they seem to have anticipated a framework to work together on buiding an AC/DC hub
 

LtKije

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Thanks, still learning the ropes about posting. ;)

The image above is just a scenario, I’ve never heard of any concern about the shape of Bay State or anyone else’s lease area blocking another company’s. But yeah the states have so far decided to let each project do its own thing, for now. (Some of these companies like that because it gives them more control over siting and timelines — better to do everything in-house if you can, rather than rely on someone else.) New Jersey and New York are starting to poke around regarding shared transmission though, perhaps Massachusetts will follow.
 

Arlington

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Also: is there really no more place to build wind around Boston Harbor & Islands?
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Also: is there really no more place to build wind around Boston Harbor & Islands?
That is the highest-windpower pocket of Atlantic waters in range to multiple land interconnections....that specific combo making it extremely valuable. The windpower capacity is equally good for a whole swath all around up to the North Shore, but you'd only be able to have 1-2 places on shore interconnected instead of having one farm portioned out 3 different directions to as many as 4 different states. It's definitely the region of water most worth fighting over for purposes of getting it right.
 

LtKije

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That is the highest-windpower pocket of Atlantic waters in range to multiple land interconnections....that specific combo making it extremely valuable. The windpower capacity is equally good for a whole swath all around up to the North Shore, but you'd only be able to have 1-2 places on shore interconnected instead of having one farm portioned out 3 different directions to as many as 4 different states. It's definitely the region of water most worth fighting over for purposes of getting it right.
Closer to Boston is highly conflicted in terms of navigation, whale habitat, military use, and visibility from shore. Further north in the Gulf of Maine is attracting attention but the waters are very deep so you need to switch to using floating turbines, which aren’t really a mature technology yet. The ocean seems so big, it’s amazing how many different people use it!
 

Arlington

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I was merely thinking a couple more municipal turbines (like Medford) and a couple more Boston city turbines on its harbor /islands would go a long way to making up the current and worsening generation shortfall in the core
 

F-Line to Dudley

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I was merely thinking a couple more municipal turbines (like Medford) and a couple more Boston city turbines on its harbor /islands would go a long way to making up the current and worsening generation shortfall in the core
Inner Harbor...much less on-land...is no match for the windpower out in the open ocean. The degree of difference is that huge. Stellwagen Bank would absolutely rake on generation capability if the environmental considerations on the Preserve weren't such a thorny subject...as a farm there would be able to transmit to City of Boston, North Shore, and Outer Cape. But nobody's going to breach that subject until we have some accumulated datasets to analyze about how the Cape/Vineyard farm interacts (or, more optimistically: doesn't) with its environment. For first dibs it's hard to rate anything else until you've grabbed Cape/Vineyard generation capability fully by the throat, because elsewhere it's a matter of: (A) the permitting gets an order of magnitude harder; (B) the potential transmission interconnects a little less exponential; (C) the "safest" permits (i.e. on-land/in-harbor) are so cosmically lower in total generating potential...or some combinations of the above.
 

curcuas

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Turbines on the seawall we may need to build around Massachusetts Bay in the future?
 

JeffDowntown

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Bringing the wind power ashore at former Brayton Point Station location makes a ton of sense.

The grid is already aligned for significant power output from this location, and it is already a coastal brownfield site.

 

F-Line to Dudley

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Bringing the wind power ashore at former Brayton Point Station location makes a ton of sense.

The grid is already aligned for significant power output from this location, and it is already a coastal brownfield site.

Is this a repeat? Brayton Point was supposed to be an in-the-bag cinch for turbine assembly every year since the plant closed. X many years of teases, and then frustration blew sky high in the last Somerset town elections with "toss the bums out" voter revolt raining fire from the sky that promised contracts had never been inked. Is it real this time?
 

shmessy

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Is this a repeat? Brayton Point was supposed to be an in-the-bag cinch for turbine assembly every year since the plant closed. X many years of teases, and then frustration blew sky high in the last Somerset town elections with "toss the bums out" voter revolt raining fire from the sky that promised contracts had never been inked. Is it real this time?
Huge differences this time.

1) It’s neighbor Vineyard Wind just received final Federal approval 2 weeks ago.

2) There no longer is a Trump Administration (other than for the housekeeping services at Mar A Lago).

The old coal fired plant was closed in 2017 and imploded/cleared in 2019. Mayflower’s 50-50 partner, Anbaric, has used the past 3 years to clear, develop and integrate the Point.
The site is ready. Trump is gone and Biden wants this.

It’s happening.
 
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