Marubeni joins Google in US wind power project

Japanese industrial conglomerate Marubeni said Tuesday it is joining Google Inc. and two other companies to build an undersea power cable that would link wind power plants off the U.S. Atlantic coast.

The project involves connecting wind farms to be built off the coasts of New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia with inland power networks in the four states, Marubeni Corp. said in a statement.

The agreement was concluded last Thursday among the four participants that also include a U.S. power cable developer Atlantic Grid Development, L.L.C., and a Swiss equity fund Good Energies Investment Corp., the Japanese company said.

Marubeni, which is keen to develop its power generation and infrastructure businesses, did not give details of how much each company is investing. Search giant Google has been expanding into clean energy businesses.

The venture wants to start building the first segment of the cable capable of transmitting about 1,500 megawatts of electricity by the end of 2013, aiming to launch operation in 2016.

The cable network would eventually link offshore wind farms capable of generating a total of 6,000 megawatts, Marubeni said.

The project marks Marubeni’s entry into the power supply business in the U.S., where the company plans to use its experience in similar projects in other countries.

Associated Press