Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Opposition Lining Up Against Google's Offshore Transmission Line Project

Who can possibly be against the offshore transmission line project that received major backing from Google yesterday? Environmentalists.

They think that the transmission line will end up bringing power from cheaper coal powered facilities up the East Coast, rather than power from offshore wind power projects that are still in development and several years from being operational. They figure that it will undercut the development of alternative energy projects in New Jersey.

It's an argument that has been made before with regard to other transmission lines that are sorely needed to upgrade and add redundancy to the power grid along the East Coast.

It's also an approach that has had some success, but it comes at a cost of not providing a modern power grid or the redundancy to deal with power outages or issues with existing transmission lines.

Opposition is also coming from groups looking to build wind power projects themselves, because they see competition down the road and want to forestall the competition until they've established themselves.

These opponents ignore the fact that wind power projects are unlikely to get off the ground if they don't have an easy way to link up with the power grid, and an offshore cable is just the thing to ease the siting and link concerns - to say nothing of the added costs of building a new land-based connection for each project.

No comments: