Google-backed AWC brings in Elia as partner

UNITED STATES: The Google-backed plan to create an offshore grid on the US Atlantic coast has brought in Belgian-based transmissions operator Elia as an equity partner.

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The Atlantic Wind Connection project consists of two power lines with a 6GW total capacity running from northern New Jersey to Norfolk, Virginia. Elia has acquired 10% and 5% shares of the first and second phases of the project respectively.

The $5 billion plan was announced last year by Google and developer Good Energies. Both companies have invested 37.5%.

Construction of the line could go ahead in 2013 with the first phase — running 150 miles from New Jersey to Delaware — in service by 2016.

Other partners include Marubeni and transmission companies Atlantic Grid Development and Trans-Elect Development.

In May, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ruled that companies investing in the project were eligible for a 12.59% return on their equity investment.

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