By Ed Krapels | January 14, 2019
New England in the midst of an energy sea change. Brought about by the people of the region acting through their elected officials, states in the region have passed legislation directing the procurement of large sources of renewable energy, including up to 3,200 megawatts of offshore wind in Massachusetts. The federal government is a partner with the region, having made large lease areas for offshore wind available in federal waters. And interest in bringing this zero-carbon, fuel-secure energy to the region is high. In the recent auction for lease rights conducted by the federal government, three winning bidders paid over $400 million for rights to build wind farms in federal waters. The jobs are already following with developers and manufactures moving to the region; a good example is turbine manufacturer Vestas-MHI’s announcement that is plans to open a US headquarters in Boston.
While Massachusetts, and other states in the region, rapidly move ahead on making these projects a reality that provide residents with fossil-free, low-cost energy, the question that has emerged is: how to get the power to land from miles over-the-horizon off the coast? The simple answer is: transmission lines – large, high voltage buried submarine cables sized to move bulk amounts of electricity over large distances.