Google Invests in Mammoth Offshore Wind Farm

Google seals deal to bring renewable energy to nearly 2 million households.

ByJolie O'dell
October 12, 2010, 9:58 AM

Oct. 12, 2010— -- Google has just sealed a deal that will help bring clean, renewable energy to almost 2 million households.

The company is investing in the Atlantic Wind Connection (AWC), a plan to erect a 350-mile stretch of wind turbines 10 to 15 miles off the United States' Atlantic coastline, where waters are relatively shallow.

The AWC "backbone" will take advantage of strong, steady winds at sea and deliver energy via underwater cables.

If successful, the AWC will be the first operating offshore wind collection project in the United States.

Calling the AWC "a superhighway for clean energy," Google's Green Business Operations Director, Rick Needham, wrote on the company blog, "As those in the Northeast remember from the 2003 blackout, transmission is severely overstretched on the east coast. The AWC project relieves grid congestion in one of two National Interest Electric Transmission Corridors which were deemed to have significant network congestion and need speedy creation of transmission capacity."

The AWC is estimated to be a $5 billion project by outside sources, and Google has invested 37.5% of the equity for the AWC's initial development stage, "with the goal of obtaining all the necessary approvals to finance and begin constructing the line," Needham continued.

New York-based cleantech investment firm Good Energies also invested 37.5% of the equity.20 years' worth of wind energy a couple months later under the newly created auspices of Google Energy.

Google's commitment to clean energy is impressive, and we also note that their investment strategies make good business sense, as well.

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