Boundless Energy is the successor to Tompkins Research & Management Consulting (TR&MC). TR&MC was established in 1986 as an energy consultancy specializing in project development of renewable energy generation and transmission projects, emphasizing asset acquisition and power purchase contracting. TR&MC worked for most of the major Independent Power Producers and some utilities, including Wheelabrator, UltraPower, KTI Energy, New York IPP Association as well as Consolidated Edison, Central Maine Power.
Boundless Energy, LLC A Maine Limited Liability Corporation, was established in 1997 as one of the first companies chartered for the specific purpose of developing independent high voltage transmission projects.
Individually, the senior two principals of Boundless Energy, LLC, E. John Tompkins and Brian N. Chernack have been involved in all aspects of electric generation and transmission project development, both in the US and internationally for over 30 years.
Boundless projects now extend throughout the United States and Canada, the Caribbean, and East Africa.
Boundless Energy adopted a business model that embraced the development of high voltage transmission expansion and interconnection – primarily Direct Current – that would serve to optimize the capability of proven and emerging technologies to enhance grid system capability and reliability as well as adding new capacity. Prior to Boundless, virtually all HVDC and EHV AC (500 and 765 kV) was designed and built on an “extension cord” model: it served only to move bulk power from a major source to load or from a lower priced market to a higher priced market. Even the first multi-terminal HVDC system built in the 1980’s, Hydro Quebec to New England Phases 1 and 2, operated solely to interconnect multiple sources to one sink.
Boundless Energy determined that a combination of factors, including regulatory reform requiring open access to transmission, constrained load pockets, and advances in HVDC control technology created an opportunity to build “network” transmission upgrades. A network interconnection could not only inject new capacity into an existing grid but could also strengthen its reliability and capacity (by providing control and redundancy). Other attributes of this model include the ability to interconnect counter-peaking systems, reduce spinning reserve, dispatch more widely on economic merit, integrate more intermittent renewable energy sources and optimize the utilization of off-peak base load (large thermal and nuclear) to store hydro for peaking. Networking over a large enough geographic are also facilitates the ability of renewable energy to “firm” itself.
In the course of developing its business model and early projects, Boundless Energy also worked closely with the manufacturers of HVDC cable and control systems to maximize converter capacity, increase depth capability of submarine cable and enable polar connections at separate receiving stations.
From a business perspective, Boundless Energy has worked with both merchant and regulated projects and with a variety of transmission utilities including investor-owned, municipal, state authorities and federal power agencies.