The Atlantic Wind Connection (AWC), developer of the New Jersey Energy Link, the first offshore backbone electricity transmission system proposed in the United States, will announce Thursday that it has selected major construction and design firm Bechtel as its Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) Contractor and international power equipment supplier Alstom as its HVDC technical advisor for this first phase of the historic Atlantic Wind Connection project.
"Bechtel and Alstom are global leaders in the design and execution of complex power projects and both have successfully completed projects across the globe," said Robert Mitchell, CEO of the Atlantic Wind Connection. "The quality of these industry leaders is a welcome addition to our team and they will play a significant role in the successful construction of the New Jersey Energy Link."
The New Jersey Energy Link will be an offshore electrical transmission cable, buried under the ocean, linking energy resources and users in northern, central and southern New Jersey. The cable will span the length of New Jersey and when complete could carry 3,000MW of electricity. The New Jersey Energy Link is expected to be built in three phases over a decade. The New Jersey Energy Link is expected to begin construction in 2016 and the first phase to be in service in 2019.
Bechtel will serve as EPC contractor for the first phase of the New Jersey Energy Link and will engineer, design, and install onshore transmission lines and substations: two onshore convertor stations and one offshore converter station that will make up the New Jersey Energy Link backbone. Bechtel will also oversee the installation of advanced HVDC converter technology and high voltage DC cables to bring power from the offshore wind turbines to the onshore converter stations. The project will also improve the reliability of New Jersey's power grid and help lower electricity prices by delivering both offshore wind and conventional electricity to where it is needed and when it is needed along the coast, whether that be southern, central or northern New Jersey.
"We are building a landmark high-capacity transmission superhighway that will deliver offshore wind energy to New Jersey using the most advanced technology available today," said Toby Seay, president of Bechtel's transmission business line. "Bechtel and Atlantic Wind Connection share a high commitment to hiring and training New Jersey workers for this project."
Alstom will serve as the HVDC technical advisor for the project. In that capacity, Alstom will provide technical advice to the project, in particular, concerning the manufacture and delivery of the 320 kV HVDC multi-terminal system components. With their HVDC MaxSineTM Voltage Source Converters (VSC), they are one of only a few firms in the world versed in technology related to multi-terminal HVDC systems including the project's plans to provide connections with a series of 1 GW offshore converter "hubs" to onshore converters. This multi-terminal HVDC offshore network will transform the 138 kV or 230 kV alternating current output from offshore wind farm electric service platforms into DC for transmission at 320 kV DC to onshore converters that will be connected to the PJM grid.
"We are very pleased that Alstom's technical expertise will play an important role in this advanced New Jersey offshore wind energy transmission project," said Patrick Plas, Senior Vice President, Alstom Grid. "Based on our proven capability to design, manufacture and supply large HVDC and HVAC projects and equipment worldwide we are confident we can provide the HVDC expertise required by the project. All of the Alstom teams involved in the Atlantic Wind Connection project are concentrated and dedicated to ensuring that the project will be one of the most technologically reliable electric transmission systems in the world and drive the shift to renewable energy in the USA."
The Atlantic Wind Connection backbone transmission project is led by well-established independent transmission company Trans-Elect with Atlantic Grid Development as the project developer and Google, Bregal Energy, Marubeni Corporation and Elia as sponsors. The AWC backbone transmission project is an essential foundation to establishing the offshore wind energy industry.