In an era of producing multiple forms of renewable electricity, the transmission of this high-voltage energy is becoming increasingly important.
Anbaric often uses high-voltage direct current (HVDC) technology, heralded as one of the “advanced transmission technologies” in the 2005 Energy Policy Act, which provided for the development of a stronger energy infrastructure.
HVDC systems have been in use commercially worldwide since 1954, when the island of Gotland was connected to mainland Sweden via a 60-mile cable. Since then, more than 25 systems have been installed globally. Most often they are used in marine applications where the distance for AC installation is too great. Other times they are used in parallel with AC systems where they provide additional operating control for the system operator.
HVDC systems provide many advantages for installation and construction and can contribute greatly to reliable and flexible operation of an electrical grid. These include:
- Higher efficiency in moving large amounts of power over long distances
- Very high reliability with 98.5% availability
- Full controllability when needed to react quickly to changes in AC frequency
- System oscillations can be controlled independent of AC system variations or in response to AC system conditions
- Improving the stability of AC systems, including increasing the stability of parallel AC lines
- Overload capabilities and controllability that can be beneficial to overall system operations and reliability
- Ability to provide reactive power control and support of AC voltage, frequency control, limitation of short-circuit current, and transmission at reduced voltage
- Greatly reduced vulnerability to adverse weather conditions — such as hurricanes, tornadoes, or ice storms — for submarine and buried cable
Anbaric CEO Edward Krapels spent the first 30 years of his career as an energy consultant to governments and companies for Energy Security Analysis, Inc., a company he founded with Sarah Emerson. In 2000, Mr. Krapels left ESAI and founded Anbaric to participate in the development of electric transmission projects.
“The reason we are in the business of transmission is because we believe that improving and rebuilding our nation’s power infrastructure is a critical element of meeting our clean energy goals,” said Krapels. “It’s great to talk about innovation in solar, wind and hydro, but all the innovation in the world will amount to very little without reimagining, updating and investing in transmission infrastructure. In short, transmission is the key to unlocking a clean energy future.”
Backgrounder on HVDC and AC systems
HVDC systems have been in use commercially since 1954, and around 25 systems have been installed globally, but alternating current (AC) still dominates most transmission systems. In fact, America’s power grid was built on AC transmission nearly 100 years ago, coming out of the War of the Currents.
According to Krapels, in the 2005 Energy Policy Act, HVDC technology has been cited as one of the advanced transmission technologies. “We now understand that next generation HVDC technology is the answer to present-day energy and infrastructure challenges,” said Krapels.
“It is controllable, efficient, and can help scale clean energy delivery. This means that there is a lot of work to be done to either augment existing AC systems or to create entirely new HVDC systems, and we’ve started to do that work through several projects, including but not limited to the Neptune Regional Transmission System and the Hudson Transmission System.”
The Neptune Regional Transmission System is a 65-mile 660-MW HVDC transmission line connecting Sayresville, New Jersey to Long Island, New York. It has been operational since 2007 and has been reported to be the largest source of imported electricity to Long Island.
The Hudson transmission line is a 660-MW electric transmission link between New York City and the PJM Interconnection. The line is both underground and underwater, and uses back-to-back HVDC technology across the Hudson River. It provided a new source of electric power for New York City customers of the New York Power Authority (NYPA).
The company has other proposed HVDC projects designed to bring renewable energy onto the grid connecting with major population centers. For example, the proposed Vermont Green Line will run from Beekmantown, New York, to New Haven, Vermont, and will provide New England with cost-effective renewable electricity.
Earlier this year, Anbaric and National Grid, along with Invenergy, the largest independent owner and operator of renewables, and Hydro-Québec, North America’s largest generator of hydropower, submitted a proposal in response to an RFP from Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Massachusetts for more clean energy.
“We mapped a plan for Invenergy to deliver its renewable energy to the ISO New England bulk transmission system through the Vermont Green Line, with Hydro-Québec to supplement these deliveries to ensure around the clock delivery,” said Krapels.
According to Krapels, a typical Anbaric project begins to transmit electricity within 24-36 months from the start of construction.
“The bottom line is that we wouldn’t be in this business if we didn’t believe strongly in the advantages of HVDC systems and their potential to help bring renewables online in a much broader way in order to effect change,” concluded Krapels.