A major wind energy transmission project, to be known as the Atlantic Wind Connection, is to be established along the coastline from New Jersey to Virginia. The U.S. Department of Energy announced the program in February 2011. The goals of the project are to create green jobs, offer consumers access to a clear energy source, and to increase the reliability of the region’s power grid. The project will provide 6,000 Megawatts of power to 1.9 million households upon completion. The program has the potential to expand to harness up to 60,000 Megawatts of wind energy from the outer continental shelf. The project is in the process of gaining approval from federal, state, regional, and local regulators as well as grid operator PJM before construction can begin. The Virginia Offshore Wind Development Authority was formed during the 2010 legislative session to develop the state’s offshore wind industry and wind powered electric energy fields. A bill that would have created a $1.5 billion wind energy program in Maryland failed in the state legislature despite strong support from the state’s governor.
Source: Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement press release:http://www.boemre.gov/ooc/press/2011/press0208.htm.