Thursday, 31 January 2013

Hoover Dam builder hired for Google’s ocean wind power line
17 Jan 2013

Bechtel Group Inc., the US contractor that built the Hoover Dam, has been hired for a Google Inc (GOOG).-backed project to deliver offshore wind power to electricity users in New Jersey.

Bechtel will construct the first segment of the New Jersey Energy Link, a $1.8 billion system of undersea and onshore transmission cables as well as power converter "hubs," project developer Atlantic Grid Development LLC said in a statement today. The link, which will span the state's coastline when its three phases are completed, may carry as much as 3,000 MWs of electricity.

There are no US offshore wind farms operating or under construction, though companies have been planning to install turbines at sea for more than a decade. Installing the infrastructure needed to connect ocean-based turbines will remove one of the hurdles that have stymied developers, according to Rick Needham, Google's director of energy and sustainability.

"This will jump start an industry that will provide 20,000 jobs in New Jersey and GWs of long term, clean energy," Needham said today at a conference in Holmdel, New Jersey.

Google, based in Mountain View, California, has invested more than $1 billion in renewable-energy projects.