Synced Approach to Help US Coastal States Reach Offshore Wind Targets, PJM Study Finds

US regional transmission system operator (TSO) PJM Interconnection has published the Phase 1 results of a study into offshore transmission options to deliver offshore wind electricity to coastal states from their soon-to-be-built offshore wind farms.

According to the first results of the study, undertaken together with state agencies to identify solutions across the PJM footprint, synchronised planning among coastal states could present a more efficient, economic path to achieving their individual offshore wind objectives than each state working alone.

Coordinating with agencies in the PJM states on the Atlantic coast – Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina and Virginia – the study analysed five scenarios to provide a high-level reliability assessment and resulting cost estimates of how envisioned offshore wind generation and current state Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) targets would impact the onshore transmission system.

With offshore wind targets among the PJM states currently totalling 14,268 MW, the scenarios included sensitivities for injection points and capacity totals, ranging from 6,416 MW to 17,016 MW of offshore wind injection under one short-term scenario, modeled out to 2027, and four long-term scenarios, modeled out to 2035.

The cost estimates to upgrade the existing onshore transmission system ranged from USD 627.34 million in the short-term analysis to between USD 2.16 billion and USD 3.21 billion for the long-term studies.

Consideration of new transmission build and offshore transmission facilities may be incorporated in a later study phase, PJM said.

Of the coastal states under PJM’s realm, New Jersey is moving forward with a specific approach to offshore transmission in mind.

At the end of the last year, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) and PJM Interconnection agreed to commence a State Agreement Approach (SAA) solicitation for offshore wind transmission solutions, which was launched this April.

Related Article

Several developers have submitted their bids so far, including Anbaric with a massive offshore grid solution and Rise Light & Power which is proposing to redevelop a former coal-fired plant site.

Photo: TenneT; Illustration (archive)