Google-backed wind power transmission line moves ahead

Posted at May 17, 2012 » By : » Categories : News » Comments Off on Google-backed wind power transmission line moves ahead

A $5 billion project for a new transmission line from wind farms off the east coast of the US being backed by internet giant Google is moving ahead.

The US Department of Interior stated this week that there was “no overlapping competitive interest” in the scheme, which means it can move onto the environmental review stage.

The Atlantic Wind Connection line, which could transport up to 7000 MW of power, still has to get over many regional and federal hurdles but backers hope this will be completed within the next two years.

The first US offshore wind farm is still in the pipeline – and it has taken over a decade to get the Cape Wind project off Nantucket to this point – but supporters of the new transmission line hope it will encourage new development.

Meanwhile, Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond says progress is being made on the project to construct an interconnector between Scotland and Norway joining UK and Scandinavian electricity grids.

NorthConnect – a joint venture between SSE, Swedish utility Vattenfall and three Norwegian companies, E-CO Energi, Agder Energi and Lyse – is being backed by a €690,000 grant from the European Union.

Thanks to the latest investment, work has now started on a study of the cable route and environmental studies are underway in the UK and Norway.

“The NorthConnect project is an excellent example of the kind of grid interconnection that will be needed across the continent to ensure we maximise the contribution of all European nations to reduce our reliance on imported fossil fuels, increase energy security and meet targets for reduced greenhouse gas emissions and renewable energy generation,” commented Salmond.

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Related stories:
UK and Denmark investigate new electricity connection (1-May)
UK Prime Minister backs European supergrid plan (21-Jan 2011)
Ten EU nations sign up to develop North Sea electricity grid (6-Dec 2010)
US backs Oregon wind farm, while Google sets course for wind corridor (13-Oct 2010)

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