Skip to main content

The Atlantic Wind Connection is a wind power project that starts with a 5.5 billion dollar HVDC offshore trunkline from central New Jersey to Southern Virginia. Capable of a 6-7 gigawatt capacity, the undersea supergrid project is led by independent transmission company Trans-Elect, CEO Bob Mitchell hopes to accelerate wind power development by building the 350 mile long supergrid backbone to attract wind turbine installers.

The eastern seaboard has terrific potential for offshore wind. With more than 60,000 MW of offshore wind potential in the relatively shallow waters off the continental shelf. The HVDC backbone of the AWC will be 15-18 miles offshore, have a limited number of landfall points, lessening environmental impact and keeping wind turbines out of sight.

The Google backed project plans to take advantage of the relatively shallow waters of the continental shelf to install HVDC cables that can initially support 7,000 Mw of generation.

Photobucket

Atlantic Wind Connection

The AWC backbone is critical to more rapidly scaling up offshore wind because without it, offshore wind developers would be forced to build individual radial transmission lines from each offshore wind project to the shore, requiring additional time consuming permitting and environmental studies and making balancing the grid more difficult. As those in the Northeast remember from the 2003 blackout, transmission is severely overstretched on the east coast.

From the Googleblog.

Have you heard that Donald Trump is complaining about proposed wind turbines? The turbines are going to be only 1.5 miles from Trumps Golf Course. Remember those complaints about the wind farm off Cape Cod? Cape Wind is shoehorned into a small congested area, between 2 shipping lanes. And all within sight of shore. Dept of Interior graphic, shows distance to Nantucket, Martha Vineyard and Cape Cod.

The Atlantic Wind Connection avoids being in sight of the beach, so is not likely to be seen by any NIMBY types, only has 4 landfall points for the HVDC cables to hook up with the existing grid, this reduces and simplifies permitting issues. And its scalable.

In May of 2011 U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) conditionally approved of the AWC plan:

The approval includes rate incentives and the opportunity to recover 100% of prudently incurred costs if the first-of-its-kind project is abandoned for reasons outside the company’s control.

offshorewindbiz

offshorewindbiz also reported that the Cape Wind Project mentioned above, has had its Loan Guarantee application placed on hold by the Department of Energy.

Cape Wind intends to secure project financing expeditiously.......

The Atlantic Wind Connection appears to be a well thought out large scale project. They are taking on some risk, as of yet, no one has signed up to build turbines on the AWC HVDC backbone, though 4 companies have expressed interest. Construction is expected to start in late 2013 or early 2014.

     atlanticwindconnection.com

______
The companion diary to this one, details on the HVDC supergrid

http://www.dailykos.com/...

Originally posted to Roger Fox on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 01:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by SciTech, DK GreenRoots, and Kosowatt.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Whats the hold up? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Roger Fox, Noor B

    A bad economy, politics, dept of energy has Bushies holding up the loan?

    •  They need no loan. (7+ / 0-)

      Thats the cool thing AWC has enough experienced partners with cash, that they are good to go.

      FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

      by Roger Fox on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 01:24:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I can't speak to all the states involved, (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RunawayRose, Odysseus, Roger Fox, BachFan, BYw

      but at least on the Delmarva peninsula, there are some sensitive wetlands and coastal bays that require environmental impact studies per Maryland state law.  Those things take some time to get right.  I do not think there will be a lot of foot-dragging, because this project will be excellent for the Delmarva economy.

      I know of one wind energy company that's been advertising upcoming operations in the Salisbury area.  They've got a building located and either bought or leased.  Their sign is already up.  There's more than a few of us salivating at the mouth at the prospect of these jobs.

      "Fighting Fascism is Always Cool." -- Amsterdam Weekly, v3, n18 (-8.50, -7.23)

      by Noor B on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 02:44:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  One of the salable points for HVDC (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BYw, Noor B

        in the AWC project is that the land fall feed in points are minimal, where the HVDC able comes ashore to hook up into the regular grid.

        And yes, good cheap wind power, has a job component.

        FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

        by Roger Fox on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 04:22:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Landfall Site Minimal in Impact (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Noor B

        A HVDC line making landfall will require a site comparable to that for the transmission and distribution facilities at a major power station.  One would be looking at power conversion systems to change the power from DC to AC, transformers, ans switchgear.  Except for the oils which are used for cooling the transformers and some other equipment, most of the system is relatively benign (excepting the ongoing questions about AC transmission lines).  

        Even the HVDC line could be designed to run inland to urban centers where the conversion could take place and the AC transmission would start.  If the HVDC line made only landfall, one would be looking at a right of way comparable to an underground natural gas line in size.

        "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

        by PrahaPartizan on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 04:52:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Is there a danger from storms that far out? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RunawayRose

    I'd hate to see a hurricane just run right along that path and wreck the towers, and it looks like the path that is entirely plausible.

    I figure there are ways to keep them from too many problems, but that's my initial concern.

    Of course, even if the hurricane destroyed the whole shebang, environmental effects would likely be very, very minimal, unlike the other power sources lifted from offshore locations.

    •  2-4Mw turbines are being installed offshore (8+ / 0-)

      in places like the North Sea, between Norway, Germany and the UK.

      With slow speed gear cases, computer controlled feathering of blades for storms, turbines being mounted on 3 columns, I think that offshore wind developers feel they have this problem pretty much licked, at least thats my guess. Google is onboard, the Belgium national utility operator is on board, plus 2 other companies.

      FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

      by Roger Fox on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 01:22:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's the East Coast USA (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Roger Fox

      Of course there's danger of hurricanes and nor'easters along that stretch of the East Coast.  That's why barrier islands exist along that whole stretch of coast.  Of course, similar issues exist in the Gulf of Mexico and it's littered with oil and gas drilling platforms, which have become much more robust in design and construction over the years.  Those techniques can be applied to building the wind turbine towers, with the advantage that one isn't looking at a well blowout if a wind turbine tower does happen to go down.  Placing wind turbine farms out that far would be much less disruptive than the oil exploration programs off the East Coast some people have been advocating.  Just wait until they start talking about mining the natural gas clathrate beds in that area.

      "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

      by PrahaPartizan on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 05:20:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Can you compare the cost of this project to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    drewfromct

    produce power with the cost of the nuclear plants Obama has approved already?
       Pollution, radiation and fuel cost numbers would also help.
    How come Nuclear is getting approved or is not even being stalled after what happened in Japan but Wind needs approval?

  •  Funding for a German version of this (6+ / 0-)

    US fund Blackstone plans two big German wind farms

    BERLIN — The US investment fund Blackstone plans to invest several billion euros in German wind farms, as the biggest economy in Europe will need the energy when it abandons nuclear power by 2022.

    Blackstone said Friday [5Aug2011] that it had finalised 1.2 billion euros ($1.7 billion) in financing to build what it says will be the the biggest German offshore facility to date.

  •  This is a really good and workable idea. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Roger Fox, Noor B, RunawayRose, drewfromct

    The U.S. is basically the Saudi Arabia of wind and this offshore wind power will be close to where the power is needed.

    Germany is already doing this, also farther away from the coast, and they have a really tiny coast for the population of the country.

    http://www.offshore-wind.de/...

    Tipped and recced

    "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

    by Lawrence on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 02:16:44 PM PDT

  •  good info but use of NIMBY is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Roger Fox

    just fucked up. Sorry, pet peeve rant to follow...:>

    This problem cannot be solved by hyperbole and conflict but by steady education and partnerships and coalitions at all levels.

       I was just reading Sundance Beach's newsletter/catalog, chock full of a relentless combo of great writing about local and worldwide ecological awareness, ecological problem's history, and interspersed with their ads featuring models m and f doing beach cleanups, playing, working....using/modeling their recycled material based products...a young person exposed to much of that type of advert milieu would never dare to waste or pollute or be inactive and go against being the sort of ordinary young people shown playing and working  in the catalog.  'Sex' sells.
        A very excellent selection and posing and editing, something I notice in catalogs...none of it really exploitational, except for the models are beautiful and perfect, but in an ordinary way and not a narcissistic look in the entire catalog......
      Sundance Beach is a local casual/beach clothing and accessories company..but one of many who are changing the face of capitalism and society, one or ten or a hundred people at a time.

    An excellent small corporate model, and never did they use the word NIMBY, a word that divides and causes far more conflict than it solves. Unless division and conflict is what one wants instead of coalitions and consensus.

    Sorry, pet peeve rant.

    Good diary and an optimistic  event as capital moves into these great and necessary ideas.

    "We will punish the murderer. Our punishment should be more generosity, more tolerance and more democracy" - The mayor of Oslo, Fabian Stang

    by KenBee on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 02:31:11 PM PDT

    •  Ur right, KenBee (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KenBee

      NIMBY isnt necessary, good point.

      FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

      by Roger Fox on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 02:33:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  thanks, I get it tho :> (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Roger Fox

        sometimes ya just want to shake people til their head rattles, just not a long term solution I hear.

        (I'm so dangerously cranky right now I have to really be careful where I step, I guess it's leaking out in this anonymous forum. grrr.)

        "We will punish the murderer. Our punishment should be more generosity, more tolerance and more democracy" - The mayor of Oslo, Fabian Stang

        by KenBee on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 02:42:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  just to be clear (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Roger Fox

    this is NOT a wind project. This is a transmission project.

    I have a gut feeling that this thing could be profitable without ever hooking up a single wind turbine. Assume you are moving power from Virginia (cheap) to New York (expensive). Even at a $20/MWh differential, that's $1B per year of revenue without anyone ever building a turbine.

    And a $20/MWh differential is not all that big. In Feb 2011, the average retail price all sectors in Virginia was 8.46 c/kWh ($84.6/MWh). In New York it was 15.48 c/kWh (154.8 $/MWh). That's a potential of $70/MWh of additional profit. Note, additional profit. Utes in VA are profitable at the $84.60 number. Note that these numbers are retail and not wholesale, but the point stands.

    If you captured $50/MWh, that pays off your $5B investment in 2 years. BOOM. (assuming 6 GW running at full power 8760 hours per year - obviously an optimistic assumption.)

    I'm just saying....

    Causation was, is, and ever shall be a slippery bitch, so we're best sticking with noting the facts

    by jam on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 04:24:06 PM PDT

    •  Ok, I did not know that (0+ / 0-)

      Yeah AWC is an HVDC trunkline built by transmission operators.

      Bob Mitchell hopes to accelerate wind power development by building the 350 mile long supergrid backbone to attract wind turbine installers.

      They are slated to build the northern leg first, then move on from there.

      FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

      by Roger Fox on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 04:50:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Cheap How (0+ / 0-)

      Are you talking about all up delivered power or only generated power?  Delivered power in NY is expensive because the regional and local transmission and distribution systems are expensive.  Power generation in VA is cheap primarily because it uses coal.  That's not gonna get much green karma.  An offshore HVDC transmission line makes sense only in the context of its serving a massive off-shore wind power system or some other form of alternative energy.  Once the trunk line is installed, it could also be used for a variety of tidal or ocean current driven systems as well.  

      "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

      by PrahaPartizan on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 05:15:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't believe in "green karma" (0+ / 0-)

        or in people building a $5 B project on spec. I'm just conjecturing that folks as good at making money as Marubeni and Good Energies likely have a contingency plan in place that has nothing to do with building wind farms.

        Causation was, is, and ever shall be a slippery bitch, so we're best sticking with noting the facts

        by jam on Wed Aug 10, 2011 at 07:51:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Yeah, but we've had to smack DeepCwind around (0+ / 0-)

    to make them more responsible in their planning for deepwater windpower extraction in the Gulf of Maine.

    Remember, as we gaze lovingly through our rose-colored glasses at the newest extractive energy industry on the block, that while ocean windpower extraction is probably the most effective thing to be done short term to replace  hydrocarbons in our energy diet, and while as an industrial activity its eco-destructive footprint is so far less than coal or oil as to make any comparison laughable, it must be sited appropriately.  The Gulf of Maine, as a literal  sea within a sea, with offshore windpower extractoin still in the planning stages, makes a splendid case study. But first to Norway.

    The Norwegian state meteorology agency, as appropriate for this very maritime nation, has kept an eye on Norway's and the UK's ocean windfarms. In 2008 Göran Broström of this Norwegian Meteorological Institute released a report
    "On the influence of large wind farms on the upper ocean circulation" that has raised eyebrows around the North Atlantic, and indeed now is factoring into the calculations of the DeepCwind Consortium -  the University of Maine led ocean wind energy extraction initiative.

    Brostrom found that, unremarkably, the laws of thermodynamics apply to wind energy extraction. When one continuously removes and cables to land megawatts of kinetic wind energy from a 100 square mile area - a standard offshore windfarm size - why, that energy doesn't get imparted into the water column in that area. This unlike the air/water energy interaction in the waters surrounding that ocean windfarm.  

    This transfer process, called Ekman Transport, is what keeps the sea's currents great and small a'flowing. Is what energizes the water column wherever the wind blows, so that the hydrology of that particular season can literally keep on keeping on.

    What happens, Dr Broström wondered, when Ekman Transfer is blocked in a more or less continuous fashion, from a discrete 100 square mile patch of ocean 24/7/365?

    The answer: as nature abhors a vacuum, if energy isn't going into the system, then it will come out.  Great  upwelling plumes arise - vertical currents ten miles across, rising from the seafloor to the surface beneath the windfarm at about a meter a day. Different temperature, different nutrient mix, different density. These thermal strata of millions of gallons of water rising and diffusing at the surface pose an unexpected challenge for Gulf of Maine
    ocean windpower extraction planners, for placed in the locations proposed so far, the DeepCwind Consortium's  ocean windfarm will be anchored squarely athwart the Eastern Maine Coastal Current.  That current each year brings a great plume of lobster larvae from the Bay of Fundy to Penobscot Bay, annually replenishing New England's biggest lobster industry in the mouth of that bay.

    See an animation demonstrating the possible impact on Gulf of Maine lobster larvae.

    Will DeepCwind's ocean windfarm interfere with that current? Not its 1/3 size prototypes planned for operation 2 miles off artists colony Monhegan, by most estimates. But what about the full scale windfarms that these prototypes are the designs for? According to Peter Jumars head of the school of Marine Sciences: probably yes.   In fact the University of Maine  has urged the state to promote windfarm develop no closer than 20 miles from shore, but the Maine Legislature voted  in March 2010  to accept applications for as close as ten miles from shore. Regrettably the the Norwegian state energy company Statoil has filed a notice of interest to set up windmills a scant ten niles offshore.  So science is, regrettably  subservient to politics and big industry on this issue right now. Sigh.

    Happily there is time between now and actually moving the great windturbines offshore; wiser heads may prevail.

    As for Chesapeake Bay's blue crabs, which also are transported out into the Atlantic as larvae and make their way back into the bay when ready to settle to the seafloor, the windmills planned for waters off the mouth of Chesapeake Bay (pdf) may well wreak  havoc on that noble crustacean, quite possibly worse than Statoil's proposed windmills'  rudely shoving Maine lobster larvae offshore.  Atlantic Wind Connection, which can have a powerful effect on offshore wind development plans, needs to use its pull to keep ocean windmills away from such critical migratory pathways. Will they? They don't answer my letters. Perhaps yours?

    •  Eek! A broken link! (0+ / 0-)

      The working link is this one

      This in the sentence: "Göran Broström of this Norwegian Meteorological Institute released a report "On the influence of large wind farms on the upper ocean circulation"
      Sorry!

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site