NEWS IN THE WORLD OF POWER AND INTEGRATED BUILDING SYSTEMS
International Power Line Connects United States and Canada
IN JANUARY, THE NATIONAL ENERGY
Board (NEB) of Canada announced
that it has approved the Lake Erie
Connector Project, a 117-kilometer (km)
international transmission line that will
connect Ontario with Pennsylvania,
running under Lake Erie.
The transmission line will provide
a 1,000-megawatt, ±320-kilovolt,
County, Pa. It will comprise three
distinct components. HVDC converter
stations and facilities will anchor
the lines. The lines themselves will
include both terrestrial and underwater
The project will be the
first direct interconnection
between the Independent
Electricity System Operator
market in Ontario and the PJM
Interconnection LLC electricity market,
which coordinates the movement of
wholesale electricity in 13 states and the
District of Columbia. The service area
supports some 61 million customers.
The estimated capital cost for
the 49-km Canadian portion alone is
$543.5 million, and it is expected to
create 331 jobs.
In rendering its decision, the NEB
found the project is in the public’s
interest and that it is unlikely to have
significant adverse environmental
effects. The board
also imposed 42 different conditions
on the project proponent, ITC Lake Erie
LLC. Those conditions covered a wide
range of issues, including environmental,
safety and socioeconomic concerns.
The NEB decision is not the final
hurdle for the project. According to
Canadian law, it must now be approved
by the federal cabinet.
Denmark Wind Turbine Sets Record
A LARGE OFFSHORE WIND TURBINE BEING tested in Denmark
set a record of 9 megawatts (MW) of power on Dec. 1, 2016. The
V164 turbine produced almost 216,000 kilowatt-hours (k Wh)
in 24 hours, enough to power approximately 7,200 homes in the
United States for an entire day.
This broke the energy generation record for a commercially
available offshore wind turbine, according to a press release from
MHI Vestas Offshore Wind, which operates the turbine. For
comparison, in 2015, the average annual electricity consumption
for a U.S. residential utility customer was 10,812 k Wh, according
to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
The V164 has been upgraded to reach 9 MW; most modern
offshore turbines range from 4 to 6 MW. The turbine is 772 feet
tall, and its blades are 262 feet long and weigh 35 tons. Its swept
area is more than 227,000 square feet—wider than the spokes
and cable cars of the London Eye.
The V164 has a 25-year lifespan, and 80 percent of
the machine can be recycled and reused. It is also built to
withstand high North Sea winds ranging from 27–56 miles
per hour ( 12–25 meters per second), according to an article in
MHI Vestas Offshore Wind expects to deploy the V164 in
Europe now that the turbine’s testing is complete. The plan is to
get the turbine connected to the grid as quickly as possible.
“We are confident that the 9-MW machine has now proven
that it is ready for the market,” said Torben Hvid Larsen, MHI
The company is specifically working to deliver affordable
offshore wind-power technology. The larger and more
powerful wind turbines become, the more energy they can
generate with fewer turbines needed in a wind farm. This
improves their efficiency and reduces the costs of wind-power
The V164 can save on capital expenditure and operating
costs, because fewer machines will be needed to meet wind-power capacity levels.
Wind power has the potential to produce up to 40 times
the electricity that the world currently consumes, according
to an October 2016 article in Business Insider. In addition,
scientists estimate the cost of wind energy may drop by
a quarter by 2030, as turbines become more efficient at
converting wind power into electricity, according to a paper
published in Nature Energy. The survey of 163 wind-power
experts said they expect turbine size to increase and wind-power costs to decrease.
14 ELECTRICALCONTRACTOR | MAR. 17 | WWW.ECMAG.COM