Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Atlantic Ocean Transmission Line

Holiday "Extension Cord" Proposal Officially Filed

Today, the US Department of Interior (which, somehow, has control over all energy activities in the ocean) released a proposal for granting a “right of way” for the “Atlantic Wind Connection” project to build a hundreds-of-miles-long 7,000 MegaWatt power line from New York to Virginia along the coasts of New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland.

According to a federal notice published this morning, the Department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management received an application on March 31, 2011, for a license (called a “right of way”) to construct the “Atlantic Wind Connection”  project.  This project would entail building a total of 790 miles of high-voltage power lines from New York to Virginia at sea. 

Ostensibly, this project is being proposed in order to “collect power generated by wind power generation facilities” and send it ashore.  As of now, however, there are no wind projects build at sea, and those that are in the development phase generally contain plans to get the energy to the onshore power grids

Somewhat telling, however, is the admission in the notice that:

“When the wind power generation facilities are not functioning at full capacity, the AWC facilities would facilitate the transmission of conventionally generated electricity between points on the onshore grid.”

So, until offshore wind facilities become entirely operational, this grid will be transmitting power generated from fossil fuel facilities - not anything "green"  

Clean Ocean Action is keeping an eye on this project (that seems, on first glance, to be unnecessary) and we plan on submitting comments by the February 21st deadline.   

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