Google invests in wind farm transmission project

Google's investment will go toward getting the necessary approvals and financing to start building

Google is continuing to back green energy projects, this time investing in the construction of a backbone that will carry energy produced by wind turbines off the East Coast back to shore.

The search giant said it is putting up 37.5 percent of the equity for the initial development stage of the project, but did not put a dollar amount on the investment. The development stage involves obtaining the necessary approvals to finance and begin building the line, said Rick Needham, green business operations director for Google.

"Although the development stage requires only a small part of the total estimated project budget, it represents a critical stage for the project," Needham wrote in a blog post.

The transmission line will run for 350 miles off the coast from New Jersey to Virginia, he said. It will carry power from offshore power hubs that will collect power from multiple offshore wind farms.

Without such a backbone, offshore wind developers would be forced to build individual transmission lines for each offshore wind project, he wrote.

When fully complete, the backbone could carry enough power to serve about 1.9 million households, he said.

Despite the potential, some proposed wind farms off the East Coast have met with opposition from groups who say the farms harm marine and bird life and mar the view.

Google said it is making the investment because it thinks it will offer a solid financial return while being good for the environment. The Mid-Atlantic region is ideal for offshore wind power creation because nearby coastal areas have large population centers that have already overstretched the existing grid, Needham said.

Trans-Elect is leading the backbone project and Good Energies and Marubeni Corporation are also investing in the initial development stage.

Trans-Elect did not immediately reply to a request for comment about the cost of the development stage or the entire transmission project. The New York Times reports that the total bill for the transmission project will reach US$5 billion.

Google has invested in another green energy project. In May, it invested $38.8 million in a project to build two wind farms in North Dakota. The rooftops of its headquarter buildings are covered in solar panels and it offers plug-in electric vehicles for employees to use to run errands during the work day.

Nancy Gohring covers mobile phones and cloud computing for The IDG News Service. Follow Nancy on Twitter at @idgnancy. Nancy's e-mail address is Nancy_Gohring@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags business issuesGoogleenvironmentinvestments

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Nancy Gohring

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?