Transmission is Key for Wind Energy From the Sea

Building wind farms in the ocean is an ideal way to generate electricity, but it's not so easy to get that energy back to shore efficiently. This article looks as a transmission project that could address that issue.

"The Maryland-based transmission-line company Trans-Elect proposes to do just that with a $5-billion undersea power grid that would stretch some 350 miles from northern New Jersey to southern Virginia. The Atlantic Wind Connection (AWC) would provide multiple transmission hubs for future wind farms, making the waters off the mid-Atlantic coast an attractive and economical place for developers to set up turbines. The AWC's lines could transmit as much as six gigawatts of low-carbon power from turbines back to the coast-the equivalent capacity of 10 average coal-fired power plants.

So far, the project has attracted backing from Google, the clean-energy investment firm Good Energies, and the Japanese trading company Marubeni. Trans-Elect says it plans to begin construction on phase I-a $1.8 billion, 150-mile span from Delaware Bay to Atlantic City-in 2013, and that section could be operational by 2016."

Officials are hoping this infrastructure would enable and encourage more wind farm operators to consider a spot in the ocean.

Full Story: Hundreds of Miles of Wind Farms, Networked Under the Sea

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