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The Atlantic Wind Connection (AWC) has announced a new supply-chain portal meant to help local contracting and service businesses find opportunities related to the New Jersey Energy Link (NJEL) project.

The NJEL 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 GW of electricity.

The NJEL is expected to be built in three phases over a decade, with the first phase carrying 1 GW of electricity. The NJEL is expected to begin construction in 2016, with the first phase to be in service in 2019.

According to AWC, the process of building the submarine and underground cable system and related electric substations is expected to employ approximately 1,100 New Jersey workers for three to four years, plus a permanent operations and maintenance staff of about 75 workers.

Because it will run at sea through New Jersey’s designated wind energy area, the link can be used to connect and deliver power from future offshore wind farms, AWC adds. Building an offshore electrical substation platform to connect the wind turbines to the transmission system would employ an additional 500-600 local workers for two years for each platform, according to estimates by Bechtel, the project’s engineering, procurement and construction contractor.

“We see great potential in New Jersey to use the skills, talent and resources of local firms and craft workers. Together with the NJ Alliance for Action, we sponsored in January an offshore wind supply chain forum in Holmdel, New Jersey, and the interest from New Jersey companies was terrific - it was a standing-room-only event with over 250 attendees,” comments Robert Mitchell, CEO of AWC.

To register for contracting opportunities on the NJEL, interested companies can visit atlanticwindconnection.com/supply-chain-portal.

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