Google Pursues Green Energy With Offshore Wind Turbines

Google Pursues Green Energy With Offshore Wind Turbines

First the moon, now the sea—Google, along with partners Good Energies and Japanese company Maubeni Corp., has pledged millions of dollars to help fund the first phase of a large-scale wind energy project on the Eastern Seaboard.

The Atlantic Wind Connection

The pledged money will go toward construction of a subsea transmission line, called the Atlantic Wind Connection, that will transmit enough energy to potentially power 1.9 million households. Transmission company Trans-Elect will oversee construction of the line, which should bring power from a wind farm located 10 miles offshore and stretching 350 miles, from New Jersey to Virginia.

Ten Years And Over $5 Billion

The money already contributed—tens of millions—is only for the first stage of the project, which will cost an estimated $1.3 billion and isn’t expected to be ready for three years. The entire project, with its expected $5 billion or higher price tag, is now poised to take about 10 years to complete.

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Not Just Hot Air

The project is notable for many reasons: The turbines, if completed, will be the first in the Atlantic Ocean. The project would be a major step forward for green energy. The money involved and the potential for job creation is encouraging—someone has to build those turbines. Commenters on CNN Money express concern about outsourcing jobs and materials, and they have a point. If this decade-long, high-profile project sources American materials and uses American workers, it could be providing serious energy not only to homes, but to the American economy.

Tell us in the comments: Taking into consideration the high price tag and the fact that it’s the first of its kind, what will this project need to be a success?

Correction: The original article stated that Google is funding construction of the wind turbines, when in fact it has pledged money for construction of the transmission cable.

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