On October 12, Google and Good Energies announced (Google blog post | Good Energies press release) that each had invested in the development stage of the Atlantic Wind Connection Backbone (AWC) Transmission Project. The specific dollar value of the investment wasn't disclosed, but each obtained a 37.5% stake. The New York Times reported the cost of the transmission project at $5 billion and cited the CEO of Trans-Elect who said that the stakes taken by Google and Good Energies would require an investment of $200 million each in the initial phase of construction (if the companies maintained their percentages of ownership). In addition, The New York Times reported that Marubeni Corporation obtained a 15% stake in this project.
The development of this project is being by Trans-Elect, which hopes to begin construction in 2013 of the proposed 350-mile underwater backbone, which would run from New Jersey to Virginia. When completed, it is projected to provide transmission capabilities for approximately 6,000 MW of offshore wind capacity.
"This new American super grid off the Mid-Atlantic coast will unlock an important untapped resource, creating the foundation for a new industry and jobs for thousands of American workers," said Bob Mitchell, CEO of Trans-Elect.
"We are honored to participate with our partners in this groundbreaking project. The Atlantic Wind Connection Project will enable the development of thousands of megawatts of wind energy capacity in one of the nation’s most restricted power markets. AWC will help bring stability and security to the eastern power grid while enabling the states to meet their renewable energy goals and standards by accessing an untapped large scale local renewable resource – offshore wind," said John Breckenridge, Managing Director at Good Energies. "Good Energies consistently searches for outstanding investmentopportunities that present innovative and cost-effective solutions and which we can leverageour expertise to aid in the transition to a low carbon economy."
"We are excited to make our first investment in transmission development on this gamechanging renewable energy project," added Nathan Campbell, Director at Good Energies. "We see the space as an enormous opportunity to deploy capital within our North American Infrastructure fund. Transmission backbones that enable gigawatts of renewable energy to be deployed will be critical in achieving long term public policy objectives."