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Offshore Wind Journal

Former coal-fired powerplant to become offshore wind hub

Tue 14 May 2019 by David Foxwell

Former coal-fired powerplant to become offshore wind hub
Artist’s impression of the offshore wind hub that is to be built at the site of the former Brayton Point coal-fired power station

Commercial Development Company (CDC), Brayton Point LLC and transmission and distribution company Anbaric are to develop a renewable energy centre focused on offshore wind at the CDC’s Brayton Point Commerce Center in Somerset, Massachusetts.

The agreement builds upon CDC’s vision to transform the former coal-fired power plant site into a logistics port, manufacturing hub and support centre for the offshore wind energy sector.

The central element of the Renewable Energy Center is a 1.2-GW high-voltage direct current converter – an investment estimated at US$250M – to serve the emerging offshore wind industry.

In addition, Anbaric will commence development of 400 MW of battery storage on site, which would bring an additional US$400M in investment.

Anbaric chief executive Edward Krapels said, “The Renewable Energy Center represents Anbaric’s broader vision for its Massachusetts OceanGrid project: high-capacity transmission infrastructure to maximise the potential of the region’s offshore wind energy resource.

“As Massachusetts considers harnessing more offshore wind, the right infrastructure needs to be envisioned and set in motion. An HVDC substation is an important piece not only for Brayton Point Commerce Center, but also Massachusetts’ status as a leader in offshore wind.”

Late last month, CDC imploded two massive cooling towers at Brayton Point and set the stage for a new era of renewable energy development on the south coast.

“Developing a landing point for 1.2 GW of offshore wind at the site of a former coal plant physically and symbolically represents the transformation from fossil fuels to wind,” said Mr Krapels. 

“While the south coast has lost a coal plant, it’s quickly becoming the nexus of a new clean energy economy and emerging as one of the great energy stories in the world. This agreement is a symbol of the change that is coming – and it promises to be a very powerful economic driver in the region.”

Congressman Joe Kennedy III said, “By reimagining and rebuilding Brayton Point to meet the needs of our emerging offshore wind industry, the Anbaric Renewable Energy Center will not only strengthen our local economy, it will help us confront the effects of climate change already threatening our coastal communities.”

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