The U.S. Department of Interior made a critical determination Monday that benefits Atlantic Wind Connection, the Google-funded company that wants to construct a sea-floor transmission system to connect offshore wind turbines to the electrical grid.

The Interior Deparment's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management declared there to be no competitive interest for the use of certain areas of the outer continental shelf, allowing the government to grant the project a right-of-way once its environmental impact is reviewed. The lack of competitive interest means that delays are avoided.

The project aims to connect up to 7,000 megawatts of wind farms planned off the New Jersey, Maryland and Delaware coasts. The 300-mile-long subsea transmission system will be constructed 12 to 15 miles offshore over about 10 years.

Andrew Maykuth