PPL Corp., through its PPL TransLink Inc. subsidiary, and Elia Group, through its WindGrid subsidiary, have signed an agreement to develop and propose innovative transmission solutions to reliably and efficiently integrate future offshore wind capacity to the onshore grid in the New England region.
The two companies signed a memorandum of understanding to work together to develop, build and operate transmission assets. This will combine PPL’s experience in building and operating large-scale onshore transmission in the U.S. with Elia Group’s track record in building, integrating and operating offshore transmission, including high-voltage direct current (HVDC) networks.
“As the U.S. seeks to accelerate the development of offshore wind to advance a cleaner energy future, it’s essential that we prepare to integrate that wind generation as reliably and efficiently as possible to strengthen grid resilience and keep energy affordable,” says Vincent Sorgi, president and CEO of PPL Corp. “Both PPL and Elia Group are at the forefront of grid innovation, and together with WindGrid, we intend to leverage our shared vision and deep expertise to propose solutions that advance decarbonization goals, enhance energy security and drive value for consumers.”
Later in October, PPL and WindGrid plan to jointly respond to a request for information (RFI) issued by five New England states that are seeking input from interested stakeholders relating to the transmission system changes and upgrades that are needed to integrate future renewable energy resources into their grids.
The states – Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maine and New Hampshire – recognize the importance of early planning for carrying out this offshore wind development. Recent studies, including Massachusetts’ Energy Pathways to Deep Decarbonization report, which is cited in the RFI, assume that up to 30,000 MW of New England offshore wind capacity will be deployed by 2050.
“Both PPL and Elia Group share the same open mind and vision regarding innovative offshore transmission solutions,” comments Chris Peeters, CEO of Elia Group. “By uniting our complementary skills and building on the experience Elia Group has built up in Europe, we want to undertake offshore development in the interest of society. PPL is a reliable and robust player in the U.S. energy sector. Our values and ambitions in terms of driving the energy transition are well matched.”