Superhighway for wind power proposed for MidAtlantic Coast — Volkswagen Atlantic

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Superhighway for wind power for Mid-Atlantic Coast

Oct 18, 2010 By Bauers

Investors on Oct. 12 to build an underwater electricity that would carry power generated off the Mid-Atlantic to land.

The $5 billion transmission announced by backers including would run about 15 to 20 miles

It would act like a spine, the offshore projects to land at locations — North South Jersey near City, the coast of Delaware and the of Virginia south of Norfolk.

is a huge, bold project, Robert Mitchell, CEO of Trans-Elect, an transmission company operating which is leading the project. going to result in thousands of of offshore wind being to the East Coast along thousands of jobs.

Instead of connections, this will as a superhighway with on-ramps for farms , said Rick director of green business at Google, a major investor.

It also would increase the of wind, they said. By the projects together, the variability of at any one location is smoothed out, in one place compensated for by gusts

Critics said the project was and would be expensive — for the very ratepayers it is proposed to

The transmission spine adds a of cost, time and complexity. It is not needed, said Scott president of PSEG Global, is part of a joint venture, State Offshore Energy.

State and two other groups have state backing to three wind farms off the of New Jersey. Two other projects have been proposed all independent of the proposed line, the Atlantic Wind Connection.

also said the line serve as a conduit not just for wind power. but also for coal power from the It could be routed onto the in Virginia and, in essence, get an ride north.

Supporters counter that coal power is a good and that the line’s flexibility help prevent brownouts in metropolitan areas.

The initial would be from central New to Delaware, incorporating the territory several wind farms already been proposed, PSEG’s.

If the myriad regulatory needed — from 13 by Mitchell’s count — granted, construction would in 2013 and the first phase be completed by 2016.

Implicit in the is a vision of not just a few farms, but arrays of turbines off the Mid-Atlantic

The line would be capable of 6,000 megawatts of power or enough to power 1.9 million

In addition to Google, the plan has backing from Good a consortium of renewable energy and Marubeni Corp. a Japan-based company operating in many including energy.

None give specific dollar but their initial seed is estimated to total tens of of dollars.

We’re willing to take on large-scale projects that can an industry, said Google’s

John Breckenridge, managing at Good Energies, said energy has been deployed in a manner. The proposed line create the basis for the kind of infrastructure that we as a country and the need to evolve to.

The Mid-Atlantic is a prime area for development of farms. The winds are strong and it is close to major population that need electricity, and the shelf is shallow enough to construction easier than in waters.

A 2007 study led by of Delaware professor Willett estimated that two-thirds of the that could be generated in the Northeast would provide all the needed — and then — from Massachusetts to Carolina.

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Kempton is a professor of science and directs the school’s for Carbon-Free Power Integration.

In an April study published in the of the National Academy of Sciences, envisioned just such a power spine as a way to even the output.

Modeling wind at offshore buoys, he determined the north-south line would advantage of weather tracks. turbines would always be somewhere, if not everywhere.

He said the line would give the flexibility of building wind where the wind is strongest, but move the power to the best

Right now, wind is costly, Kempton said, but as we industrializing this industry, of one-at-at-time boutique assemblies, it push the cost down the cost of dirty power.

for both the New Jersey Department of Protection and the Board of Public — both strong of offshore wind — they were awaiting details.

We’re watching it with interest to see exactly what it is they would be looking to do, DEP spokesman Larry Ragonese.

The likely would not be finished in for the several offshore wind planned for state and federal off New Jersey.

These developers risk stranding their in the event that there is no to deliver their power to customers, said Jim Lanard, of the Offshore Wind Development an advocacy and education arm of the American Energy Association.

PSEG’s concurred. Each project has a transmission plan, is including the for the radial lines in their plans and is ready to move on that basis.

Among critics, New Jersey Sierra director Jeff Tittel the project raises many

Would we be better off using the $5 this line would to build 1,200 MW of offshore Will we lose political from New Jersey elected if the electricity from New Jersey farms goes to another We are concerned that many of the are ‘yes.’

But a lobbyist for the national Sierra Melinda Pierce, said the is the kind of new idea we need to jump-start a sleeping offshore industry.

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