High power transmission lines. Image credit: Naama's photo stream on Flickr
Google and two unfamiliar sounding business partners have received a key first-approval for construction of a $5bn power transmission project, linking the landward power grid to several wind farms to be built off the US Mid-Atlantic coast. (The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has ruled the project can earn a 12.59% return on equity (ROE) - a bit less than the 13.58% requested.)
The partners are Google, Good Energies and Marubeni. The project will connect 6,000MW of offshore wind capacity to grid segments from New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland - on down to Virginia. Other permitting approvals are still required but the money and FERC approvals look solid. For details, see the coverage in Energy Business Review.Carbon & atomic mob vs the wind gang
I can hardly wait for the comments calling this a socialist, hippie, liberal type project. They'd be right if what they meant was that this indicates an entirely new model of energy provision and use which has the potential to radically change America.
People will use the wind power so provided for transportation, thereby reducing long term prospects of the Koch Bros, ExxonMobil, coal-fired, Congress-collectivized carbon mob.
Marubeni, the immense Japanese conglomerate, may be able to learn some valuable lessons from this project. These might be applied back home in Japan, where the atomic mob is about to get some stiff wind competition after the nuclear melt downs changed a lot of minds about the importance of investing more substantially in renewable energy provision.
Just as you'd expect, Google has been slogging toward this goal for some time. For background see Dan Kessler's post Government Clears the Way for Google to Play in Energy Markets and also Matt's post Google & GE Joining Forces to Bring You Geothermal Power, Plug-In Vehicles and a Smart Grid plus the earlier visionary post Clean Energy 2030: Google's Green Energy Future Revealed -- It'll Save U.S. $1 Trillion
All of which makes me wonder - what the next step will be?
Who will Google partner up with next?
Jersey shore may never be the same.
Will social networking, linked to smart grid technologies, play a very surprising role in the business of transportation and energy provision? I'll hold that answer until we see what happens with this project. (Hint: 'last mile.')