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Google Atlantic grid receives FERC approval on equity plan

UNITED STATES: The Google-backed plan to create an offshore grid along the US Atlantic coast has cleared its first regulatory hurdle.

The $5 billion Atlantic Wind Connection initiative was launched last year, with Google and developer Good Energies both investing 37.5 percent.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has ruled that companies investing in the project are eligible for a 12.59 percent return on their equity investment.

Under the current plan the AWC consists of two power lines with a total 6GW capacity running from northern New Jersey to Norfolk, Virginia.

On completion, there will be four transmission points: southern Virginia, Delaware, southern New Jersey and northern New Jersey.

Speaking to Windpower Monthly about the AWC, Google green operations director said: "It also has a transformational impact. We're talking about allowing 6GW of wind to connect in an intelligent way. That's more than what was installed in the US last year. And yet it's only a small step to reaching the potential for that region, which is 60GW."

The project still requires approval from the Interior Department, grid operator PJM and individual state agencies.

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