For the Atlantic Wind Connection, Google is shelling out cash to power offshore windmills along the Atlantic coastline.
Google Oct. 12 embarked on its latest green technology product with a plan
to power offshore windmills by connecting underseas cables along the Atlantic
Google is investing 37.5 percent of the equity in the early going for the
Atlantic Wind Connection (AWC) backbone,
which will span 350 miles of the coast from New Jersey
to Virginia to connect 6,000
megawatts of offshore wind turbines.
Not only is that equivalent to 60 percent of the wind energy installed in
the entire country last year, but it should serve some 2 million households, said
Rick Needham, green business operations director for
Needham said the move will
provide Google with a solid financial return while helping to accelerate
offshore wind development and improve consumer access to clean energy sources.
It should also create thousands of new jobs.
For the AWC backbone, offshore power hubs
will collect power from multiple offshore wind farms and shuttle it through
underwater sea cables to the transmission system on land.
AWC project leader Trans-Elect, along
with investors Google, renewable energy firm Good Energies and Japanese trading
company Marubeni, chose the Mid-Atlantic region because of the potential 60,000
megawatts of offshore wind that can be driven to large population centers
Moreover, the waters are relatively shallow, making it easier to install
turbines 10 to 15 miles offshore. Trans-Elect hopes to start the project in
"These coastal states can take advantage of their most promising
renewable resource by using larger wind farms with larger turbines that can
take advantage of stronger and steadier winds offshore," Needham
"With few other renewable energy options ideally suited for the
Atlantic coast, the AWC backbone helps
states meet their renewable energy goals and standards by enabling a local
offshore wind industry to deploy thousands of megawatts of clean,
cost-effective wind energy.
Google hasn't said exactly what dollar figure its 37.5 percent stake will
comprise for the AWC backbone, though it
noted that the development stage requires only a small portion of the total
estimated project budget. The New York Times reported
today the project will cost $5 billion total.
This isn't the first time Google has dipped its toe in the spreading pool of
The company, which has been steadily expanding beyond its search engine
roots for the last five years, agreed to purchase
114 megawatts of clean energy from an Iowa
wind farm to power its data centers. Google also invested nearly 40 million in
two wind farms.
Google earlier this week also unveiled
its experiment for sending self-driving cars onto the California
highways, another bid to curb power consumption.