BOEM Announces Next Steps for Proposed Mid-Atlantic Wind Energy Transmission Line

Announce Opportunity for Public Comment and Expressions of Competitive Interest

12-20-2011 WASHINGTON

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced today that it is taking the next steps in the review for a potential Mid-Atlantic Wind Energy Transmission Line. Atlantic Grid Holdings LLC has requested a right-of-way grant to develop the Atlantic Wind Connection, a proposed high-voltage direct current transmission line that would collect power generated by offshore wind facilities and deliver it to the regional high-voltage grid. The proposed electrical transmission system would enable up to 7,000 megawatts of wind turbine capacity to be delivered to the grid.  

The bureau is asking whether other developers are interested in constructing transmission facilities in this area. BOEM is also seeking comments on the potential environmental consequences of a renewable energy transmission line on the Outer Continental Shelf, off the coasts of New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia.  

“This proposal to build a ‘backbone’ for an offshore electrical transmission system is an encouraging sign that there is significant interest in developing the infrastructure to support offshore wind development,” said BOEM Director Tommy P. Beaudreau. “We will conduct the appropriate analyses to evaluate the potential environmental impacts of issuing renewable energy right-of-way grants.”  

The proposed transmission line would be constructed in phases to connect offshore wind power to the grid based on the company’s anticipated timing of offshore wind generation. A right-of-way grant occupies a corridor 200 feet wide, centered on the cable. The right-of-way grant corridor is anticipated to extend approximately 820 statute miles and full construction would take approximately 10 years.  

All interested parties are asked to provide information about site conditions and multiple uses within the area that would be relevant to the proposed project or its environmental and socioeconomic impacts. A map of the area proposed and a copy of the application is available at:  http://www.BOEM.gov/offshore/RenewableEnergy/StateActivities-RegionalProposals.htm

The public notice requesting competitive interest and inviting public comment is available at: http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/public-inspection/index.html. Once published in the Federal Register, comments and competitive interest submissions are accepted for 60 days in one of the following ways:

Electronically: http://www.boem.gov/About-BOEM/Public-Engagement/Public-Engagement-Opportunities.aspx. Click on the “Public Comment” link and follow the instructions to submit public comments and to view supporting and related materials. 

In written form, delivered to: Program Manager, Office of Renewable Energy (HM 1328); Bureau of Ocean Energy Management; 381 Elden Street; Herndon, Virginia 20170–4817.

For more information on BOEM’s Renewable Energy program, visit: http://www.boem.gov/Renewable-Energy-Program/Index.aspx.  

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management manages the exploration and development of the nation's offshore energy resources. The bureau seeks to balance economic development, energy independence, and environmental protection through responsible management of offshore conventional and renewable energy development based on the best available science.