Consultant Ed Krapels makes waves with undersea transmission.
Bruce W. Radford is editor-in-chief for Public Utilities Fortnightly.
“Make no small plans,” the saying goes, and consultant Ed Krapels has taken that to heart.
Krapels and his partners began in 1999 to dream about a huge undersea electric transmission line, running under the Atlantic Ocean from Canada to Manhattan, that would dwarf anything seen before or since. And today, nearly a decade later, Krapels still holds to his vision: Bring significant quantities of renewable energy south from Maine and the Canadian Maritimes, and inject that capacity directly into the congested downtown local grids of America’s large East Coast cities. Who could find fault with that?
Though the dream, to be known as Project Neptune, still lives, Krapels and his partners since have found it prudent to scale back a bit. They first envisioned a single monster 4,800-MW direct-current project, running hundreds of nautical miles, with intermediate stops into the Boston area (where Krapels and the ESAI consultants work) and Southern Connecticut, plus a 1,200-MW bi-pole terminating in New York City. Several years on, with Enron and the standard market design now both dead in the water, the Neptune project has morphed into three smaller and discrete projects, each a high-voltage, direct-current undersea line.