T&D World Magazine

Bechtel and Alstom to Build Offshore Wind Transmission Project

The Atlantic Wind Connection (AWC), developer of the New Jersey Energy Link, the first offshore backbone electricity transmission system proposed in the U.S., has selected construction and design firm Bechtel as its engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor and power equipment supplier Alstom as its high-voltage direct-current (HVDC) technical advisor for this first phase of the AWC project.

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 3,000 MW of electricity. Construction of the link is scheduled to begin in 2016, with the first of three phases in service in 2019.

As EPC contractor, Bechtel 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 oversee the installation of advanced HVDC converter technology and HVDC cables to bring power from the offshore wind turbines to the onshore converter stations.

As the HVDC technical advisor for the project, Alstom will provide technical advice to the project, concerning the manufacture and delivery of the 320-kV HVDC multiterminal system components. With its HVDC MaxSine voltage source converters, Alstom is versed in technology related to multiterminal HVDC systems, including the project's plans to provide connections with a series of 1-GW offshore converter “hubs” to onshore converters. This multiterminal HVDC offshore network will transform the 138-kV or 230-kV AC 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.

For more information, visit atlanticwindconnection.com.

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