Many states are upping their demand for renewable energy, and suppliers from across the Northeast are willing to provide the power. The question is how to get it from the wind farm to the light switch.
That’s where Edward Krapels comes in. His company, New England Independent Transmission Co. LLC, is developing a $1 billion project that would lay about 140 miles of transmission lines under the ocean floor to connect the electric grid in coastal Maine to Boston and potentially southeastern Massachusetts.
Krapels recently sat down with reporter Jackie Noblett.
When people think about renewable energy, transmission lines are not something that comes to mind. Why is that?
Transmission is kind of the orphan child of the power business. It maybe accounts for as much as $10 of a $100 electricity bill. But it is a visible part of the business, it’s a part of the power system you see.
How did you get involved in transmission development projects?
I spent a lot of time in the mid-1990s looking at different types of power plants (figuring out what they were worth), and was struck by the inadequacy of our transmission system. In 1998, I helped to form a partnership whose purpose was to develop “rational” transmission connections. Eight years later, the Neptune Project — a $600 million, subsea, high-voltage-direct-current project — went into operation.