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The Atlantic Wind Connection (AWC) - the developer of an offshore wind transmission "backbone" planned by independent transmission company Trans-Elect and developer Atlantic Grid Development, and backed by Google, Bregal Energy, Marubeni Corp. and Elia - has announced two of the major contractors for the New Jersey (NJ) Energy Link, the first phase of the project.

AWC has selected construction and design firm Bechtel as its engineering, procurement and construction contractor and international power equipment supplier Alstom as its high-voltage direct-current (HVDC) technical adviser for the NJ Energy Link.

Bechtel will engineer, design and install onshore transmission lines and substations: two onshore converter stations and one offshore converter station that will make up the NJ Energy Link. The company will also oversee the installation of advanced HVDC converter technology and HVDC cables to bring power from the offshore wind turbines to the onshore converter stations.

Alstom will serve as the HVDC technical adviser 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 NJ Energy Link will be an offshore, subsea electrical transmission cable 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 GW of electricity. Construction on the link, which will be built in three phases, is expected to begin in 2016, and the first phase is scheduled to be in service by 2019.

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