Google and its partners cleared the first major hurdle with U.S. regulators today to build a $5 billion transmission line that would transport electricity from wind farms off the Atlantic coast.
The companies backing the project can earn a 12.59 percent return on their equity investment in the proposed power line, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ruled.
The project, which consists of two parallel transmission lines stretching from northern New Jersey to southern Virginia, could transport up to 6,000 megawatts of electricity that would provide power to 1.9 million households.
The transmission lines would each extend 250 miles along the mid-Atlantic coast. The electricity carried by the lines would connect with the main electric grid at onshore sites in New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia.
The project still needs approval from the Interior Department, several state agencies, and the regional power grid operator, PJM. The project's backers are Google, Good Energies, a private firm, and Japan's Marubeni Corp.
The companies hope to have the first phase of the transmission line operating in 2016.
The transmission line project will help the mid-Atlantic states meet their goals to… Read more