Search engine giant Google sure has a lot of money to throw at clean energy projects. Back in May it put nearly $39 million into some wind farms in North Dakota. Now it is thinking bigger, much bigger in fact, as it unveiled it is investing in the Atlantic Wind Connection (AWC). This backbone project, as it is being called, “will stretch 350 miles off the coast from New Jersey to Virginia and will be able to connect 6,000 MW of offshore wind turbines.”
6,000 MW of wind turbines. That is a lot of clean energy, enough in fact to be the “equivalent to 60% of the wind energy that was installed in the entire country last year and enough to serve approximately 1.9 million households.” The project will be built around “offshore power hubs that will collect the power from multiple offshore wind farms and deliver it efficiently via sub-sea cables to the strongest, highest capacity parts of the land-based transmission system,” according to Google. It is said this project, once in place, will help speed along offshore wind development in the mid-Atlantic region.
Google said this project is led by independent transmission company Trans-Elect and is financed by itself, Good Energies and Marubeni Corporation. Investment by the Internet company will be equal to 37.5% of the equity for initial development, with the New York Times reporting the project is costing somewhere in the neighborhood of $5 billion. It is believed that the AWC, once completed, will relieve power grid congestion for part of the country.
“We believe in investing in projects that make good business sense and further the development of renewable energy,” said Rick Needham, Green Business Operations Director of Google, in a statement. “We’re willing to take calculated risks on early stage ideas and projects that can have dramatic impacts while offering attractive returns. This willingness to be ahead of the industry and invest in large scale innovative projects is core to our success as a company.”
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