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  (Source: Google Blog)
Atlantic Wind Connection backbone will connect 6,000MW of offshore wind turbines

Google has signed an agreement to financially assist the establishment of a backbone transmission project that will further progress offshore wind development off the Mid-Atlantic coast. The project, which is called the Atlantic Wind Connection (AWC) backbone, is financed by Google, Marubeni Coprporation and Good Energies. It will be led by Trans-Elect, which is an independent transmission company. 

The AWC backbone is a huge design covering 350 miles off the coast from New Jersey to Virginia. It will connect 6,000 megawatts of offshore wind turbines, which is comparable to 60 percent of the wind energy installed throughout the entire United States last year. This amount of power is capable of providing for 1.9 million homes. 

To collect this kind of power, the AWC backbone will draw power from several offshore wind farms and then deliver it to high capacity parts of the land-based transmission system via sub-sea cables. 

The AWC backbone will assist states in meeting their renewable energy goals and standards by installing turbines 10 to 15 miles offshore where they are out of sight from land and are able to take advantage of heavier winds. The project is specifically advantageous to the east coast because transmission is overstretched in this area, and "relieves grid congestion" in one of the National Interest Transmission Corridors. The AWC backbone also prevents developers from having to install individual radial transmission lines from the shore to each offshore wind project, saving both time and money. 

In addition to environmental benefits, Google sees the AWC backbone as an opportunity that will offer "a solid financial return" and will create thousands of jobs. 

"We believe in investing in projects that make good business sense and further the development of renewable energy," Rick Needham wrote the Google Blog. "We're willing to take calculated risks on early stage ideas and projects that can have dramatic impacts while offering attractive returns. 

"This willingness to be ahead of the industry and invest in large scale innovative projects is core to our success as a company."

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RE: Additional details
By sleepeeg3 on 10/12/2010 11:26:51 PM , Rating: 3
You will never get the full, honest truth from the greenies, because they want to push their agenda.

However, based on the *estimates* this effort would be a huge step forward for wind. Even taking into account the $5B extra in transmission lines, wind's efficiency and life expectancy, the cost would be down around the cost of conventional technologies.

"Trans-Elect expects the project to cost $5 billion in total, not including financing and permit fees."

Total you would be looking at around $10B, plus "financing and permit fees." Compared to the largest wind farms operating currently, the cost ends up being around 2.5x that and nearly on par with coal. So this is very optimistic...

On the other hand, we have seen nuclear estimates start at $500 million and end up 10x that amount, due to red tape and other issues so who really knows? All estimates are just those - estimates. Also, if they are still looking for financing and the taxpayers to build their transmission lines, they are going to be inclined to bend those numbers as much as possible. Do their cost's include government subsidies or other hidden costs that they haven't mentioned?

Either way, this is something to watch. The greenies finally have something to be legitimately hopeful about.

RE: Additional details
By sleepeeg3 on 10/12/2010 11:32:19 PM , Rating: 2
"Compared to the largest wind farms operating currently, the cost ends up being around 2.5x that and nearly on par with coal." I meant the cost would be a 2.5x reduction from current farms.

RE: Additional details
By ekv on 10/13/2010 3:29:26 AM , Rating: 2
It's Google's money. I hope it works out for them, er, I wish them the best of luck.

What I want to watch are the maintenance costs. Things in and around the ocean always tend to require a bit higher maintenance than you'd think. My two bits.

RE: Additional details
By rcc on 10/13/2010 1:19:33 PM , Rating: 2
The combination of hurricanes and open water should be interesting. I hope they don't scrimp when hiring the engineers.

RE: Additional details
By BZDTemp on 10/13/2010 7:37:02 AM , Rating: 1
"You will never get the full, honest truth from the greenies, because they want to push their agenda."

That is BS!
I find it pretty offensive to say people with a green agenda will not give the full, honest truth. For sure some "greenies" will act like that but making a categorical statement like yours is plain wrong. People are people and anyone has an agenda and some people will go beyond what is right to push that agenda. Just look at the lies being told about Obama.

PS. Here is a link to the official site of the biggest offshore Wind farm to those which will want facts and not speculation:

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