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Google Clicks on Wind Energy

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Google and investment firms Good Energies and Marubeni Corp. announced on Oct. 12 that they would back the early stages of developing a 350-mile DC transmission line from northern New Jersey to Norfolk, Va. The line, being developed by Chevy Chase, Md.–based Trans-Elect, would provide a transmission backbone linking several different wind farms off the Atlantic Coast and add up to 6,000 MW to the Atlantic grid. Construction of the first phase of the line, from northern New Jersey to Rehoboth Beach, Del., could begin in 2013, cost $1.8 billion and be complete by 2016. The total project is expected to cost more than $5 billion and would be complete some time after 2020. The line would cut by 17% to 20% the cost for offshore wind projects that connect to the line, according to Bob Mitchell, CEO of Trans-Elect. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and PJM Interconnection must approve rates for the line; then, Trans-Elect must receive approval from several different federal and state agencies before construction can begin.

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