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The Atlantic Wind Connection (AWC) has selected construction and design firm Bechtel as its engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor and power equipment supplier Alstom as its HVDC technical advisor for the New Jersey Energy Link, the first phase of the planned Atlantic Wind Connection electricity transmission 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, according to AWC.

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 converter 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 HVDC cables to bring power from offshore wind turbines to the onshore converter stations.

Alstom will serve as the HVDC technical advisor for the project. In that capacity, the company will provide technical advice for the project, especially concerning the manufacture and delivery of the 320 kV HVDC multi-terminal system components. The multi-terminal HVDC offshore network will transform the 138 kV or 230 kV alternating current output from offshore wind farm electric service platforms into direct current for transmission at 320 kV DC to onshore converters that will be connected to the PJM grid.

The Atlantic Wind Connection backbone transmission project is led by independent transmission company Trans-Elect with Atlantic Grid Development as the project developer and Google, Bregal Energy, Marubeni Corp. and Elia as sponsors. The New Jersey Energy Link project is expected to begin construction in 2016, with the first of three phases coming in service in 2019.


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