Search engine giant Google have announced their intention to help bring alternative energy to the United States.
The US firm is to invest $5 billion in wind technology, part of a proposed electric transmission line intended to spark investment in new wind farms off the heavily populated US East Coast.
The move, which is a gamble as no offshore wind installations have yet been built in the United States, marks the Internet search giant’s latest move away from its core business, joining investments in solar energy and a plan to develop a car that will drive itself.
“This will serve as a clean-energy superhighway, with on-ramps for wind farms and the ability to be intelligently expanded,” Rick Needham, Google’s green business operations director, told a news conference in Washington.
In addition to allowing expected offshore wind turbines to transmit their electricity to the coast, the Atlantic Wind Connection project, would stretch from Virginia to New Jersey and could serve as a backup to the onshore transmission grid.
Google described its initial 37.5 per cent stake in the project as “early stage,” leaving open the possibility other investors or lenders would be brought in to finance the actual construction.
“While this project does have great potential, it is also early stage, but we’re willing to take calculated risks on large-scale projects that can move an industry. Indeed, that’s what has made our company so successful to date,” Needham said.