Former Massachusetts coal plant to be transformed into clean energy center

By [Content Director and Conference Chair, DISTRIBUTECH International]
REW_Use_Former Massachusetts coal plant to be transformed into clean energy center
Rendering of clean energy center. Credit: Anbaric

This week, diversified real estate acquisition and development firm Commercial Development Company and transmission developer Anbaric said they plan to build a renewable energy center at Brayton Point Commerce Center in Somerset, Massachusetts. The site is the former home of the Brayton Point Coal Plant, the cooling towers for which were demolished two weeks ago. (video of demolition at the end of article at this link).

The site, which will be called the Anbaric Renewable Energy Center will be home to a 1200-megawatt (MW) high-voltage direct current (HVDC) converter and 400 MWs of battery storage. The companies estimate the investment will top $650 million.

"The Renewable Energy Center represents Anbaric's broader vision for its Massachusetts OceanGrid project: high-capacity transmission infrastructure to maximize the potential of the region's offshore wind energy resource," said Edward Krapels, CEO, Anbaric.

"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."

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

"Developing a landing point for 1200 MW of offshore wind at the site of a former coal plant physically and symbolically represents the transformation from fossil fuels to wind," Krapels continued.  "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's coming – and it promises to be a very powerful economic driver in the region."

"As our country marches towards a clean energy future, our Commonwealth's workers and businesses can be found standing on the frontlines along the South Coast," said Congressman Joe Kennedy III. "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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Jennifer Runyon has been studying and reporting about the world’s transition to clean energy since 2007. As editor of the world’s largest renewable energy publication, Renewable Energy World, she observed, interviewed experts about, and reported on major clean energy milestones including Germany’s explosive growth of solar PV, the formation and development of the U.S. onshore wind industry, the U.K. offshore wind boom, China’s solar manufactur...

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