Google invests in massive US wind energy project

12 Oct 2010

Google has invested in the Atlantic Wind Connection (AWC) project to help create a 350-mile power transmission “backbone”, connecting wind turbines off the east coast of the US.

The underwater cable will link numerous offshore wind farms to the US power grid, which will take advantage of the strong, steady winds that occur in the region.

According to Google, this backbone could deliver 6,000 megawatts of power, providing clean, renewable energy to almost 2 million homes in the US.

“By putting strong, secure transmission in place, the project removes a major barrier to scaling up offshore wind, an industry that, despite its potential, only had its first federal lease signed last week and still has no operating projects in the US,” Google said.

Independent transmission company Trans-Elect is running the project, which has also received funding from renewable-energy investor Good Energies and Japanese industrial and energy firm Marubeni.

Construction of the backbone is expected to cost in the region of $5bn. Google will give the project 37.5pc of its development-stage funding, which will be used for obtaining approvals for initial construction.

Trans-Elect hopes to begin construction in 2013, with the first connection arriving in 2016.

The project is hoped to be completed by 2021, at the earliest.