US Department of the Interior to review offshore wind power proposal

The subsea grid, which will be the first of its kind in the U.S., will help to support offshore wind projects

Atlantic Grid LLC is seeking a right-of-way for its Atlantic Wind Connection, a direct current subsea transmission system which would transport power from wind turbines located on the U.S. ‘outer continental shelf’, some 12 to 15 miles off the U.S. eastern seaboard, to supply the cities of New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia with clean renewable energy.

The transmission line would enable 7,000 MW of wind energy to be distributed to the U.S. national grid and is the first such renewable energy infrastructure project to be proposed in the U.S. so far. The transmission line would, if accepted following the review, extend for 790 miles (1,271 km) - occupying a width of around 200 feet (60.9 metres) based on the central cable and with additional width at the hubs. It would be constructed in phases, depending on company estimates of when the respective offshore wind facilities will be in place, and will take around 10 years to complete.

The DOI’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) believes this is a project which would help to encourage innovation in renewable energy in order to develop a U.S. clean energy economy, particularly given that transmission is one of the main constraints to development of clean energy. It would also help to bring clean energy to American homes and businesses helping to cut energy bills and reduce carbon emissions.

The project will help to advance President Obama’s strategy for development of domestic energy resources based on a “Smart from the Start” approach that processes applications in a co-ordinated manner with full environmental analysis and public review.

Companies interested in investing in the project include Google, Swiss green energy investment firm Good Energies, the Japanese Marubeni Corporation and Belgian transmission company Elia. Google especially believes that the project will play an important role in helping the U.S. states to meet their clean energy goals by assisting the rapid development of clean offshore wind at low cost.

Further sources: Recharge news