USA: AWC Selects New Jersey for 1st Phase of Its Offshore Wind Transmission Project
Atlantic Wind Connection (AWC) has announced that New Jersey has been selected as the first phase for its multi-year offshore wind transmission project. This phase of the project is called the New Jersey (NJ) Energy Link.
The selection was based on New Jersey’s commitment to developing an offshore wind industry and the large potential for clean renewable power that exists off its shoreline. The experience with Hurricane Sandy illustrates the clear need for a robust, resilient and modernized electric grid.
The NJ Energy Link will be an offshore electrical transmission cable, buried under the ocean, linking energy resources and users in northern, central and southern New Jersey. The cable will span the length of New Jersey and carry 3,000MW of electricity. The NJ Energy Link will be built in three phases. It is expected to begin construction in 2016 and the first phase to be in service in 2019.
The NJ Energy Link will bring thousands of jobs to the state. According to a study by IHS Global Insight, building the New Jersey Energy Link will create upwards of 20,000 jobs in New Jersey, many of which will last throughout several years of construction, pump $9 billion into the State economy and bolster state and local tax revenues by $2.2 billion. The IHS job numbers are based on building the NJ Energy Link and the creation of 3,400MW of wind turbine electric capacity.
“The NJ Energy Link can make the grid more reliable and lower the cost of energy in New Jersey by delivering both offshore wind and conventional electricity to where it is needed and when it is needed along the coast, whether that be southern, central or northern New Jersey,”said Robert Mitchell, CEO of the Atlantic Wind Connection.
The NJ Energy Link will help strengthen the reliability of New Jersey’s grid by:
– Provides increased options to move electricity
– Provides “black start” capability (immediate start-up) to restore power in NJ after a blackout.
– Avoid building out new controversial overhead transmission lines on land
The NJ Energy Link will also lower New Jersey energy prices by:
– Improving the flow of electricity to minimize energy peaks that cause high prices
– Moving the cheapest and cleanest energy to where it is needed, when it is needed
– Minimize costly upgrades to the grid
The NJ Energy Link helps support the goal of developing offshore wind by:
– Reducing the cost of offshore wind energy
– Creating a super highway for wind farms making wind power more reliable
– Providing ratepayers with a transmission line that works 100% of the time, not just when the wind is blowing.
The Atlantic Wind Connection (AWC) backbone transmission project is led by experienced independent transmission company Trans-Elect with Atlantic Grid Development as the project developer and Google, Bregal Energy, Marubeni Corporation and Elia as sponsors. The Atlantic Wind Connection (AWC) backbone transmission project is an essential foundation to establishing the offshore wind energy industry.
Press release, January 16, 2013; Image: atlanticwindconnection