21 December 2011 Interior Department Announces Key Offshore Wind-energy Transmission Line Posted by: James Navarro | Leave a comment | Share: A 847-mile long transmission line could deliver wind energy generated off the East Coast to cities up and down the eastern seaboard. WASHINGTON—The Interior Department announced plans yesterday to review a proposal for an 847-mile long transmission line capable of delivering some 7,000 megawatts of wind energy generated off the Atlantic coast to the grid. The proposed Offshore Atlantic Wind Connection transmission line would link up to offshore wind energy areas off Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and Virginia. Interior will announce the locations of these wind energy areas next month. Defenders of Wildlife advocates for “Smart from the Start” clean energy development, where projects and transmission lines are guided to low-conflict areas and avoid and effectively mitigate unavoidable impacts to wildlife. Defenders will be reviewing the plan to ensure that it protects key habitat for the endangered right whale, important flyways for migratory birds and habitat for other sensitive wildlife. The following is a statement from Jim Lyons, Defenders of Wildlife’s senior director for renewable energy: “Defenders of Wildlife supports renewable energy that is ‘Smart from the Start’ and is part of a comprehensive strategy for offshore wind energy, which includes transmission. “The Atlantic coast offers significant clean energy potential that can help shift our nation away from dangerous and dirty fossil fuels and offshore drilling. But the key to wind energy’s success is developing wind projects and transmission lines in low-conflict areas and operating them to avoid harming sensitive wildlife and habitat. Right whales are critically endangered. “Some of these offshore waters are critically important to endangered right whales and other important wildlife species. We will be reviewing the proposed route to determine if the project can be permitted efficiently and with greater certainty for developers, investors, and conservationists by avoiding and effectively mitigating unavoidable impacts on right whales and other imperiled wildlife.” Post Your Comment Click here to cancel reply. Name (required) Mail (required) (will not be published) You May also be interested in Senate Wakes Up to Climate Change…At Least Some of Them Tonight more than 20 senators will be taking over the Senate floor to pull an all-nighter to “wake up” Congress to climate change. Wolf Weekly Wrap-Up Helicopter gunning kills 23 wolves in Idaho; Urge Secretary Jewell to abandon gray wolf delisting proposal — Call your representative by March 14; Washington wildlife agency urged to end support for abolishing federal wolf protections; The latest on Governor Otter’s wolf control board. Two Too Many Development Projects in the Ivanpah Valley While these projects most definitely directly impact a species that has been identified as threatened and is dependent on the habitat where they would be built, Silver State South and Stateline’s approval is most troubling for a bigger reason. You see, this isn’t just an issue for the Ivanpah Valley. Developers and agencies need to be conscious of how and where they plan energy projects all across the country. They need to look at renewable energy planning with a landscape-wide lens, understanding that building in the right places and making an effort to minimize environmental impacts from the start are essential.