Google has given its strongest backing yet to wind energy by investing in a proposed $5-billion offshore wind underwater network project that could keep the lights on in homes and businesses from New Jersey to Virginia.
The project has been described by The New York Times as having the potential to “ultimately transform the region’s electrical map.” The newspaper also said the 563-kilometre underwater spine could remove some critical obstacles to offshore wind power development, and has excited investors, government officials and environmentalists.
In a posting to its blog by Rick Needham, Green Business Operations Director, Google said the project will accelerate offshore wind development in the United States while being both good for business and the environment.
“The new project can enable the creation of thousands of jobs, improve consumer access to clean energy sources and increase the reliability of the Mid-Atlantic region’s existing power grid,” Needham wrote.
The Atlantic Wind Connection (AWC) backbone will, upon completion, be able to connect 6,000 MW of offshore wind. “That’s 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,” Needham added.
“From the Great Plains to the waters off the coast of Northern Europe, windmills churn out clean power that lights our homes and powers our economies,” Needham said. “We are pleased to support this investment that will ultimately enable the Mid-Atlantic to benefit from the tremendous wind resource off its coast.”
Construction should begin in 2013 with the first stages up and running by early 2016 and final completion by 2021.