Google has been making green investments in all sorts of Green Sectors in its quest to help Renewable Energy become cheaper tha n the price of Coal.It earlier investment in a Wind Farm was quite perplexing as it did not contribute much to the Green Cause.Now it is looking to take a 35% equity stake in a $5 Billion Offshore Underground Electricity Transmission Line on the Atlantic Coast which would link 4 US States.This Transmission line would also get equity contribution from European Green Fund Good Energies.Note Good Energies is one of the biggest and earliest investors in Green Technology.It was the founder member of the first pure play large Solar Companies Q-Cells and Renewable Energy Corporation (REC).Like Google,Good Energies is a somewhat in between a non-profit and profit company.Good Energies recently sold off its stake in Chinese Solar Company to South Korean Chaebol Hanwha so it is flush with cash.
The company said yesterday that it’s investing in a $5 billion underwater network that can channel electricity from wind turbines scattered off the Atlantic coast, enough to light up 1.9 million homes from New York to Virginia.
Under the new project, Google will buy a 37.5 percent stake in the development stage of the Atlantic Wind Connection project, said Rick Needham, director of green business operations at Mountain View, California-based Google. The new transmission line would form the “backbone” of an offshore wind industry that could add 6,000 megawatts of capacity to the grid. That’s as much as about five nuclear plants.
The first phase of the project, which the developers aim to complete by early 2016, would run about 150 miles and cost $1.7 billion to $1.8 billion, Needham said. The second phase to complete the 350-mile (563 kilometers) line could be finished by 2020.
The Transmission Line will give a huge boost to Offshore WInd Energy in the United States.The Government has estimated a 4000 GW Offshore Wind Potential which is almost 4 times bigger than the current 1000 GW Electricity Generating Capacity . However note the load factors for wind is usually 1/4th to 1/3rd that of normal Fossil Fuel Energy so it would be incorrect to say that Offshore Wind could generate 4 times the current US Electricity like some websites are doing.However this is not to takeaway from the fact that this will help wind energy and green jobs considerably.US is seriously lagging behind countries like China and South Korea in the upcoming Green Industry.Lack of US Climate Legislation and indifferent individuals and companies are creating massive roadblocks in Climate Mitigation.Transmission Costs are a big hurdle for Offshore as well as Onshore Wind Energy.Note the bigger the consumer area for Renewable Energy the less the adverse affects of intermittent.The Tres Amigas Transmission SuperHub is another example of Private Initiative in the Electricity Transmission Area.While the dollar benefits to the investing companies might be uncertain,the Green Benefits of this move are immense.The US Electricity Regulator has already given a thumbs up and the US Administration also seems very supportive recently approving the Cape Wind Offshore Wind Farm in Federal Waters in Nanuteck Sound.
The US total potential offshore wind energy resource could top 4000 GW, according to a new analysis by the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).
Exploiting the country’s offshore wind potential could help it reach 20% of electricity generation – or around 54 GW – and revitalise its manufacturing sector to the tune of $200 billion.The report says that the 26 states along the US coast – including the Great Lakes, where there are large urban areas, could provide very favourable conditions for offshore wind generation.
The US, while one of the world’s leaders in land-based wind generation, has no offshore wind capacity at all, although the country’s first facility, the controversial Cape Wind project, has been given the go ahead.