We’ve always had a sneaking suspicion that Google is close to taking over the world and they just keep adding fuel to our conspiracy theories. What now? Well, they’ve just invested in a $5 billion transmission line that will help speed up offshore wind development on the eastern seaboard. The internet giant and New York based investment firm Good Energies will each be taking on 37.5% of the cost of the 350 mile line that will run from northern New Jersey to Norfolk, Virginia. The line would be an underwater spine that could eventually carry energy from offshore wind farms to the places along its span that need it most.
In the first phase of the project, Google’s financial promises will have them writing a $200 million dollar check and they seem excited about the prospects that the undertaking has for green energy. “It is an opportunity to kick-start this industry and, long term, provide a way for the mid-Atlantic states to meet their renewable energy goals,” said Richard L. Needham, Director of Google’s green business operations group.
The first phase of the line will hopefully go into effect in 2016, most likely before the offshore wind farms are even constructed. However, even without windmills dotting the coast the line will be rerouting much needed power around the Atlantic coastline from areas in the south where it’s inexpensive to areas in the north where it’s quite costly. The plan has the power — chuckle, lame joke — to make offshore wind energy less expensive to build by installing the infrastructure first. The transmission line will allow wind farms to hook up and bring wind onshore without having to install their own large transmission projects. The hope is that if the costs come down, offshore wind will start looking more attractive to investors.