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Elia, the Belgian Transmission System Operator, joins Google, Marubeni, Good Energies and Atlantic Grid Development (AGD) in the Atlantic Wind Connection project for the development of the first high-voltage direct current (HVDC) offshore backbone in the USA. 

Using multi-terminal HVDC systems and Voltage Sourced Converters, it will enable the integration of up to 7,000MW of offshore wind into the PJM interconnection system, the regional transmission organization (RTO) that coordinates the movement of wholesale electricity in all or parts of 13 States and the District of Columbia, off the coasts of New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia. In each of these States, the backbone will have interconnections with the existing land-based transmission system, thereby enabling the transmission of up to 2.000MW between its onshore terminals and reinforcing the existing onshore grid in the congested Mid-Atlantic electric power market. The backbone is expected to be as long as 556 km and its development will be divided into five segments (A, B, C, D and E) with a budget currently estimated at a total of US$ 5,5 billion. Elia acquired from AGD a strategic 10% minority participation in the first segment and a 5% minority participation in the four other segments of the AWC project. Elia simultaneously entered into a long term consultancy contract with the AWC project developer, AGD. Under this contract, the group will bring to the AWC project its expertise in the design and development of offshore/electricity-highways in Europe.
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