Good Energies Backs Atlantic Wind Connection Project

Atlantic Wind Connection is planning to file with energy regulators a proposal to build a power transmission system in the Atlantic Ocean, Reuters reported. The project, which would stretch from New Jersey to Virginia along the Mid-Atlantic coast, is sponsored by private equity firm Good Energies, Google, and Japanese trading company Marubeni Corp. The project would cost an estimated $5 billion, Reuters said. Good Energies has offices in New York, London and in Zug, Switzerland. Atlantic Wind Connection is based in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

(Reuters) – Atlantic Wind Connection plans to file with federal energy regulators its proposal to build a giant power transmission system in the Atlantic Ocean along the U.S. Mid-Atlantic coast to enable the region’s offshore wind potential, a spokesman for the project said in an email late Monday.

Announced in October, the project will stretch from New Jersey to Virginia and enable up to 6,000 megawatts of wind power that could be built out of sight from land, enough to serve about 1.9 million homes with carbon free power. [ID:nLDE69B1JC]

Independent transmission company Trans-Elect, a unit of energy company AES Corp, of Arlington, Virginia, is developing the project expected to cost about $5 billion.

Private equity firm Good Energies, Internet search and technology firm Google Corp and Japanese trading company Marubeni Corp are sponsoring it.

Officials were not immediately available to say when the project might enter service.

The Mid-Atlantic region has more than 60,000 MW of offshore wind potential in the relatively shallow waters of the outer continental shelf, Trans-Elect said.

The project could create thousands of jobs, spur economic growth, help states meet renewable energy and greenhouse gas reduction goals and reduce power congestion costs in the PJM power grid by injecting low priced power into higher priced locations, according to a study by economic consultant The Brattle Group.

In addition, Brattle said the project could provide “substantial cost savings” when compared with the piecemeal development of individual wind farms interconnected via radial high voltage alternating current transmission links to the onshore grid.

Atlantic Wind Connection will use High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) technology to create a transmission backbone that could connect several large wind farms to the onshore grid in multiple locations.

And, Trans-Elect said the system could be expanded to accommodate more offshore wind energy as the industry develops further.

In addition to this filing with the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Trans-Elect said it will also need approvals from the U.S. Department of Interior, other federal, state, regional and local regulators and PJM, the region’s grid operator.

PJM operates the power grid and energy market serving 51 million people in all or parts of Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. (Reporting by Scott DiSavino; editing by James Jukwey)