|AWC Schematic, from their website|
Atlantic Wind Connection (AWC) plans to enable the Atlantic Coast to use off-shore wind efficiently. As their website says:
The Mid-Atlantic region offers more than 60,000 MW of offshore wind potential in the relatively shallow waters of the outer continental shelf.
The Atlantic Wind Connection (AWC) backbone transmission project is an essential foundation to this new industry.
Evaluation by Willem Post
Trans-Elect and Atlantic Grid Development are the Atlantic Wind Connection, AWC, project developers.
When completed, the AWC will be able to carry as much as 7,000 MW of offshore wind energy to consumers along the US East Coast.
With a project plan that envisages construction extending from 2016 - 2026, the developers intend to build out the offshore transmission backbone in five phases at a total expected cost of $6.311 billion. The capital cost of the IWTs (Industrial Wind Turbines) would be 7,000 MW x $4.2 million/MW = $24.53 Billion, for a total of $35.7 billion
Energy production would be 7,000 MW x 8,760 hr/yr x CF 0.40 = 24.53 TWh/yr
For comparison: The capital cost of 7,000 MW of nuclear plants (7 standard 1,000 MW plants) would be about $28 billion and the energy production of would be 7,000 MW x 8,760 hr/yr x CF 0.90 = 55.20 TWh/yr; more than twice the production at much less capital cost. They could all be built in about 10 years, thereby reducing CO2 much sooner than the IWTs which would take 20 years.
Completing the project would enable transmission of renewable offshore wind power to consumers in NY, Pennsylvania, NJ, Delaware, Maryland, Washington D.C. and Virginia.
According to a project analysis performed by IHS Global Insight, the AWC transmission backbone would be able to deliver:
3,417 MW of electrical power to NJ (44% of AWC’s total capacity);
1,015 MW to Delaware (13%);
1,013 MW to Maryland (13%)
2.297 MW to Virginia (30%).
Based on the above, it appears the energy cost of the IWTs will be at least 20 c/kWh and of the nuclear plants about 10 c/kWh, per EIA/US-DOE
About Willem Post
Willem Post is one of the most-read bloggers at The Energy Collective. He has a B.S. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering, and also an MBA. He designed systems and evaluated costs for utility systems and large buildings. He is an internationally recognized expert on the economics of wind power.
Post is a founding member of the Coalition for Energy Solutions, and an occasional guest blogger at this blog, for example, his November 2012 guest post: Wind in Vermont is Oversold.