The Missing Link to Realize New York’s Offshore Wind Energy Goals

Article originally appears in City and State, April 16, 2018

Ed Krapels | CEO of Anbaric

New York’s ambitious offshore wind program faces an unanticipated challenge: finding the right way to deliver wind to shore. The transmission that brings wind to shore will shape the industry’s structure for decades to come and will define whether it’s dominated by competition and innovation or preservation of market share, deterring new entrants and second-tier technology.

Transmission infrastructure – the cables that bring wind power to the grid – is boring; it offers neither the beauty nor the ambition of ever-larger wind turbines whose blades gracefully spin. But it is critical: it either stimulates or stifles the competition that is central to the long-term health of the offshore wind industry.

If present trends continue, transmission developers will be excluded from even competing in the process to develop the transmission systems that offer the lowest cost solution for New Yorkers. There is no rational basis to prohibit any company from responding to an RFP when it can accelerate transmission development, increase competition, lower costs to ratepayers, while protecting the environment. Transmission developers can speed up timelines for the deployment of offshore wind by using their expertise and resources to accelerate the usual permitting and studies required – making transmission a true priority in planning and construction rather than an afterthought. It must be assumed this apparent decision is due to the influence of myths propagated about offshore wind development.