The Chicago Tribune is reporting that a proposed Atlantic Wind Connection (AWC) line has passed its first regulatory hurdle. The $5 billion transmission line to send power from wind farms off the East Coast cleared a hurdle, allowing the Google backed project to move to the next step in theapproval process, officials said. The AWC, which would transport up to 7,000 megawatts of power, is also backed by a private company called Good Energies, and Japan’s Marubeni Corp.
The project faces regional and federal regulatory hurdles which backers hope to clear within two years so it can nail down financial agreements and start transmitting power by the end of 2017. Google is investing 37.5% of the equity in this initial development stage, with the goal of obtaining all the necessary approvals to finance and begin constructing the line. When completed, the Atlantic Wind Connection (AWC) backbone will stretch 350 miles off the coast from New Jersey to Virginia and will be able to connect 6,000MW of offshore wind turbines. That’s equivalent to 60% of the wind energy that was installed in the entire country last year and enough to serve approximately 1.9 million households.
This compares to the Thumb Loop transmission line project now underway in Michigan’s Thumb region.
Google – The wind cries transmission
Chicago Tribune – Google-backed wind power line clears hurdle.