UK’s energy market regulator, Ofgem opened the second round of tendering for high-voltage transmission links worth £1.9 billion for six offshore wind projects. Winning tenders for the first links will be announced in summer 2011. This is the second tender round in the offshore transmission regime, which is a joint policy initiative between the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and Ofgem, to encourage cost-effective investment in the vital network links between the offshore wind farms and the mainland grid. Companies will be competing for the right to own and operate the links to 2.8 GW of offshore wind farms for the next 20 years.
Google plans to invest in a transmission project off the Mid-Atlantic coast to help accelerate offshore wind development. The Atlantic Wind Connection (AWC) will stretch 350 miles off the coast from New Jersey to Virginia and will be able to connect 6 GW of offshore wind turbines. It will be built around offshore power hubs that will collect the power from multiple offshore wind farms and deliver it efficiently via sub-sea cables to the strongest, highest capacity parts of the land-based transmission system.
The AWC project is led by independent transmission company Trans-Elect Development Co. and is financed by Google, Good Energies and Marubeni Corp. Google is investing 37.5 per cent of the equity in this initial development stage and plans to obtain all the necessary approvals to finance and begin constructing the line.