If you were among the millions of customers who lost power as a result of the violent storms that hit the country's midsection and the Mid-Atlantic in late June, then you have personal experience of the vulnerability of our electrical grid. Indeed, we Americans ought not to be shocked at the failure of our infrastructure in the face of a huge storm. Investments in infrastructure have fallen to such low levels over the past 30 to 40 years that they might be better termed "dis-investment." As the American Society of Civil Engineers noted in a report released in April, aging infrastructure and grid congestion will make outages even more frequent, long-lasting and expensive in the future.
The Atlantic Wind Connection's offshore high-voltage, direct-current (HVDC) transmission line will play an important role in strengthening the grid in the Mid-Atlantic region, reducing grid congestion and helping utilities and grid operators recover from outages more quickly. By efficiently delivering more than 7,000 megawatts of new offshore wind energy, we will also be helping to meet new demand cost-effectively while supporting an industry that is expected to become a major driver of new jobs.
This issue of our e-News looks at some of the new studies quantifying these benefits of the AWC. Our Top Story brings you the results of a new study that finds the offshore wind industry poised to create over 300,000 jobs in the coming years and to increase GDP by $33 billion, just from the first 7,000 MW delivered on the AWC. And in this issue's FAQ, we explain how the AWC will save consumers money by reducing grid congestion, a kind of hidden tax on energy that translates directly into higher costs of living and doing business across much of the Mid-Atlantic region.
Also, don't miss our interview with AWC's Mohamed El-Gasseir, in which he describes his ongoing studies of the system benefits to be delivered by our offshore HVDC transmission line. The studies show AWC will improve grid security, stability, and reliability, allowing grid operators to deliver power more efficiently and respond more quickly to major outages like the one in June. Mohamed's studies also show that by bringing in offshore wind to replace some planned Midwestern wind energy, AWC will reduce the need for both land-based transmission and back-up generation, creating billions of dollars in savings across the PJM region.
CEO and Co-Founder
Atlantic Wind Connection
In this Issue