A rich literature exists on benefits of community involvement and believed effects of offshore wind power structures, but little is known about how the public perceives electricity transmission via submarine power cables. Yet, it is when transmission comes ashore that residents most acutely come face to face with offshore wind. In two U.S. communities we elicited early reactions to submarine power cables using in-person interviews and a mail survey. Results indicate the public is relatively unfamiliar with potential risks or benefits, yet concerns emerged regarding conflicts with ocean users (especially the fishing community) and human health and safety, although others expect benefits and most expect no effect. Residents prefer cables to connect to land under “natural” areas rather than inhabited coastal areas. Further, strong majorities prefer a submarine power cable network with few shore connections compared to each wind project installing its own cable, with more cable connections to land.