Library filed under Transmission from New Jersey
The state Senate and Assembly on Thursday approved a bill giving state regulators the authority to seize property or grant easements for transmission lines carrying electricity from offshore windmills to the power grid, even over local objections. The companion bills, S3926 and A5894, authorize “certain offshore wind projects to construct power lines and obtain real property interests; grants BPU authority to supersede certain local governmental powers upon petition from offshore wind project.”
The measure requires developers seeking New Jersey Board of Public Utilities approval as a qualified offshore wind project to include within its detailed description for the project any transmission facilities and interconnection facilities to be installed.
For the short term, offshore wind developers will likely have relatively few problems hooking up with the electric grid, at least to achieve the goals of developing 3,500 megawatts of offshore wind capacity by 2030 ..Long term is another issue altogether.
Atlantic Grid Development LLC, the company planning an undersea power-transmission line backed by Google Inc. (GOOG), is shifting its goal to moving electricity across New Jersey instead of connecting offshore wind farms.
Google plans to corner the wind energy market in New Jersey. It's a first-of-its kind venture that could cost Google and its partners $1.3 billion, but one Google believes fits its core mission: You can make money without doing evil.
In a filing by the BPU, the state wrote the project "could unnecessarily increase transmission costs for New Jersey consumers." According to the Rate Counsel, if current state policies remain in effect, subsidies to develop solar and wind power projects could cost consumers an additional $5 billion over the next two decades.
In asking to intervene in the case, the two agencies argued that the project, stretching from Virginia to New Jersey, could adversely affect the rates paid by consumers and also place much of the risk on the ratepayer instead of the developers. The Atlantic Wind Connection is a 350-mile underwater transmission line, which aims to connect the spate of offshore wind farms being developed by New Jersey and other states.
The cost to ratepayers could increase electric bills by hundred dollars or more a year, if the planned transmission lines were constructed, Edelston said. Paul Patterson, an energy analyst with Glenrock Associates in New York, said the issue of building new transmission lines to move renewable energy is one of the more contentious issues before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.