Tiffany Kaiser - May 15, 2012 4:37 PM
The U.S. Interior Department gave the green light for project sponsors to begin work on a wind power transmission line on the ocean floor along the northeast United States.
The proposed transmission line, known as the Atlantic Wind Connection (AWC), is a backbone transmission project that aims to service off-shore wind farms. AWC is expected to span from southern Virginia to northern New Jersey. It was proposed by Trans-Elect Development Company and has a list of sponsors including Google, New York-based Good Energies II, Japanese company Marubeni Corporation, and Belgian transmission operator Elia.
AWC was proposed as a solution to grid congestion in the Northeast. With a wind power transmission line, customers with high electricity bills in northern New Jersey can receive monthly price cuts thanks to electricity brought from low-cost locations like southern Virginia.
"There's at least a billion dollars a year that ratepayers are paying extra just because of congestion," said Robert L. Mitchell, CEO of Trans-Elect Development Company. "Our line, even the first leg of it, will make a contribution to reducing that."