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Google have finally cleared another regulatory hurdle in the long process of trying to win approval for its proposed $5 billion transmission line connecting wind farms off the East Coast of the US, to the mainland’s electric grid. The environmental review is to follow, and an analysis of the impact on fishing, marine life, and other factors could take up to two more years.; just another example of the torturously slow progress wind farm developers have to suffer in the US as they negotiate the nightmarish bureaucracy of securing planning permission. The $1 billion Cape Wind project of the Nantucket Sound will be the first major wind project in the US, but has been delayed by nearly a decade so far.
Googles Atlantic Wind Connection line will transmit as much as six gigawatts of electricity from offshore wind farms which will stretch along the cost for 250 miles, and help to supply renewable electricity to support the ageing East Coast electricity network. The government hopes to start selling leases for the development of the wind farms this year.
In a similar story, Alex Salmond, the Scottish First Minister, has announced progress in the project to lay interconnector lines between Scotland and Norway, which will join the Scandinavian and UK electricity grids.
“The NorthConnect project is an excellent example of the kind of grid interconnection that will be needed across the continent to ensure we maximise the contribution of all European nations to reduce our reliance on imported fossil fuels, increase energy security and meet targets for reduced greenhouse gas emissions and renewable energy generation,” he said at a conference in Norway.
By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com