US utilities National Grid and Eversource have filed proposals with ISO New England on how they will ensure the reliability of the grid network after the closure of the Mystic Generating Station.
The closure of the station on 1 June 2024 is expected to create significant reliability risks in the Boston area, including overloaded transmission lines and overall system instability.
The proposals filed comprise eight recommendations, which include upgrading existing properties, building a new 345KV transmission line and expanding clean energy capacity by 1,100MW to meet peak energy demand.
The proposed solutions are below the estimated $175 million annually (excluding fuel costs and capacity credits) that New England consumers will pay to keep Mystic Station available.
The proposals range in cost from $48 million to $120 million and, if implemented, will:
- Maximise the use of existing transmission facilities in the Boston area;
- Keep upgrades entirely on properties already in use by the energy companies, minimising the environmental impact;
- Be in-service eight months prior to the planned Mystic Station retirement;
- Capitalise on the strong financial capabilities and unparalleled expertise of two companies that develop and construct transmission projects in Massachusetts and throughout New England.
Rudy Wynter, president of Wholesale Networks and US Capital Delivery Group within National Grid, said: “Our proposals will help usher in new clean energy resources, provide enhanced reliability for the region’s electrical system, and ensure these upgrades happen with little environmental impact.
“National Grid and Eversource will be able to cost-effectively deliver these critical infrastructure projects on time to meet the electricity needs of Greater Boston.”
“As operators of New England’s largest energy delivery system, we have the expertise and the experience to ensure that our electric system keeps pace with our customers’ evolving needs,” said Eversource president of transmission Bill Quinlan. “We have a high degree of confidence that our innovative solutions can be delivered on time and will provide significant environmental and financial benefits to customers throughout the region. The retirement of Mystic helps to reduce fossil fuels from our energy mix in New England as we work to upgrade our transmission system to accommodate more renewables and enable a clean energy future for our region.”
ISO-NE is expected to make its decision on the winning proposal by mid-2021.