Plans are in the works to build an under sea power cable that would span the length of New Jersey to make the energy grid more reliable and serve future offshore wind generation projects that are now in the planning stages.
“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 would be built in three phases. It is expected to begin construction in 2016 and the first phase to be in service in 2019, carrying 3,000 megawatts of electricity
The project is also expected to create upwards of 20,000 jobs in New Jersey, pump $9 billion into the state economy and bolster state and local tax revenues by $2.2 billion, according to an IHS Global Insight study. The study is based on building the NJ Energy Link and the creation of 3,400 megawatts of wind turbine electric capacity.
New Jersey would be the first phase of a multi-year offshore wind transmission project, according to a news release from Atlantic Wind Connection.
Selection on the New Jersey Energy Link project 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,” according to the company.
The cable, buried under the ocean, would link energy resources and users in northern, central and southern New Jersey.
The project would help strengthen the reliability of New Jersey’s grid by providing increased options to move electricity, providing “black start” capability (immediate start-up) to restore power after a blackout, and avoiding the need for controversial overhead transmission lines on land.
It’s also expected to lower New Jersey’s energy prices by improving the flow of electricity and minimizing energy peaks that cause high prices, and by moving the cheapest and cleanest energy to where it is needed, when it is needed. It would create a “super highway for wind farms" making wind power more reliable.
The Atlantic Wind Connection (AWC) is led by Trans-Elect, with Atlantic Grid Development as the project developer and Google, Bregal Energy, Marubeni Corporation and Elia as sponsors.
Another company, Fishermen’s Energy has federal and state permits for construction of the country's first demonstration offshore wind farm off of the New Jersey coast. Construction in Atlantic City is planned to begin in 2013 with offshore construction and commissioning of the wind farm in 2014.
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