Wakefield, Mass. – June 1: A wide majority of Greater Boston residents want to see offshore wind power — rather than power generated from fossil fuels — replace the retiring Mystic Generating Station in Everett. According to a new poll conducted by the MassINC Polling Group, 77% of Boston area residents said the state should rely more on wind power while only 37% said the state should rely more on natural gas. When offered options to replace Mystic Generating Station, 58% preferred underwater transmission lines that bring offshore wind power to Boston while only 19% preferred land-based transmission enabling fossil-fuel-generated power.
Moreover, 70% opposed keeping the oil- and natural gas-burning Mystic Generating Station open beyond its retirement date of June 2024, according to the poll, which was commissioned by Anbaric, a Wakefield, Mass.-based energy transmission development company.
The expected closure of the Mystic plant compelled grid operator ISO-New England to issue a request for proposals in December 2019 for energy transmission to replace lost electricity production from Mystic Generating Station. Anbaric has proposed the Mystic Reliability Wind Link transmission project to bring offshore wind and backup system power from Southeast Massachusetts directly to Greater Boston. Electric power transmission lines for the Wind Link will run entirely underground and under the seabed from Plymouth to Everett.
Respondents to the poll, which explored energy issues with 400 Massachusetts residents living within Route 128, said that the state government should place a high priority on air pollution, climate change and renewable energy:
- 64% said reducing air pollution should be a high priority
- 63% said addressing climate change be a high priority
- 55% said expanding renewable energy use be a high priority
“Massachusetts residents recognize the vital importance and potential of renewable energy,” said Theodore Paradise, Senior Vice President for Transmission Strategy at Anbaric. “The retirement of Mystic is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to tap into our growing offshore wind resource, reduce air pollution and avoid often-delayed overland transmission. Our Mystic Reliability Wind Link proposal will strengthen reliability and help set the stage for the next generation of clean energy in the region.”
Details of the Mystic Reliability Wind Link include:
- A pathway for up to 1,200-MW of offshore wind to flow from Southeast Massachusetts to Greater Boston, providing enough energy to power over one million homes.
- Infrastructure to proactively address bottlenecks that could constrain offshore wind and cost hundreds of millions of dollars to address with the overland transmission.
- Advanced development work, marine surveys, and engineering to ensure the project will be in service by June 1, 2024, and avoid $200 million or more of annual subsidies to the Mystic Generating Station if transmission projects are delayed.
- Enabling retirement of Mystic Generating Station, which since 2009 has emitted over twenty-seven million tons of climate-changing CO2, over three thousand tons of NOx and over four thousand tons of SO2, both of which are linked to adverse respiratory and cardiovascular health impacts.
- A return on equity (ROE) of 7.9%, which would save customers tens of millions of dollars in comparison to returns of 11% or more granted to utility transmission projects in New England.
Anbaric is a majority employee-owned, US-based company focused on planning and scaling offshore transmission. The company is a partnership between the Anbaric partners and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, which as of December 31, 2019, had net assets under management of $207.4 billion. Anbaric helped spearhead the development of two similar subsea projects between PJM and the NYISO which were delivered on schedule and on budget. Anbaric is committed to developing transmission systems for offshore wind in the US with a focus on Southern New England, New Jersey and New York as well as in Canada. For more information visit www.anbaric.com.
Contact: Erin Clarke, Anbaric