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Google says it will invest in a transmission project off the Mid-Atlantic coast to help accelerate offshore wind development. The Atlantic Wind Connection (AWC) will stretch 350 miles off the coast from New Jersey to Virginia and will be able to connect 6 GW of offshore wind turbines.

The AWC backbone will be built around offshore power hubs that will collect the power from multiple offshore wind farms and deliver it efficiently via sub-sea cables to the strongest, highest capacity parts of the land-based transmission system, according to Google.

The AWC project is led by independent transmission company Trans-Elect Development Co. and is financed by Google, Good Energies and Marubeni Corp. Google is investing 37.5% of the equity in this initial development stage and plans to obtain all the necessary approvals to finance and begin constructing the line.

"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," says Bob Mitchell, CEO of Trans-Elect.

The project will be designed to be scalable in order to expand to accommodate additional offshore wind energy as the industry further develops, according to Trans-Elect. The project will utilize of high-voltage direct-current technology.

The Mid-Atlantic region offers more than 60,000 MW of offshore wind potential in relatively shallow waters, which makes it easier to install turbines 10 miles to 15 miles offshore, according to Google.

SOURCES: Google, Trans-Elect Development Co.

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