Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Offshore Wind Power

Google and financial firm Good Energies have agreed to invest heavily in a proposed $5 billion transmission backbone for future offshore wind farms along the eastern seaboard, the NYT reports today in an above-the-fold front pager. They will each take on 37.5 percent of the equity portion of the first-of-its-kind project and are expected to bring in additional investors. As it currently stands, the two companies will likely need to front about $200 million apiece just for the first phase of construction.

DETAILS - Trans-Elect hopes to begin construction on the project in 2013. The Maryland-based transmission-line company estimates that the initial phase - stretching 150 miles from northern New Jersey to Rehoboth Beach, Del. - will cost $1.8 billion and could go into service by 2016. The rest would not be finished until early next decade.

NYT: 'Industry experts called the plan promising, but warned that... it was bound to face bureaucratic delays and could run into unforeseen challenges, from technology problems to cost overruns....The system's backbone cable, with a capacity of 6,000 megawatts, equal to the output of five large nuclear reactors, would run in shallow trenches on the seabed in federal waters 15 to 20 miles offshore, from northern New Jersey to Norfolk, Va. The notion would be to harvest energy from turbines in an area where the wind is strong but the hulking towers would barely be visible.'

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