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Google-Backed Ocean Wind Farm Closer to Reality

The Exchange

By 24/7 Wall St.

The infrastructure to build a huge wind farm, which will sit off the U.S. northeastern Atlantic seaboard, has moved one step closer to completion. One of the largest investors in the project is Internet search giant Google. It first made the investment in 2010.

The Director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management said that no competitive bid had been made for the project, which was initially bid by Atlantic Grid Holdings LLC. Since no competitors emerged, this cleared the way for the project's investors to move forward to the next step. Major investors in the Atlantic Wind Connection proposal include Google, Good Energies II LP, Marubeni Corporation and Elia.

The U.S. Department of the Interior said of the project: "The first such offshore infrastructure proposed in the United States, the system's parallel, redundant circuits would total about 790 miles in length." The project will link a number of wind farms, which will sit 15 to 20 miles offshore. Full construction of all phases of the multi-stage project would take about 10 years.

"The proposed project is a high-voltage, direct-current subsea transmission system that would collect power generated by wind turbine facilities off the Atlantic coasts of New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia," according to the Interior Department.

Google has been a proponent of alternative energy for some time. It has created a "Google Green" initiative that invested $915 million in alternative energy projects. Google currently uses alternative energy to power many of its operations.

The search company says, "Our data centers use only 50% of the energy of most other data centers. This has saved us a billion dollars in energy costs to date, and cuts our impact on the environment."

Google's long term plan is to get all of its energy from alternative sources. In 2011, Google invested $55 million in a Mojave Desert wind farm and $100 million in one in Oregon.

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