Google is buying a 37.5 percent stake in a project to lay a 350-mile cable to an offshore wind farm that could power 1.9 million homes in Virginia, New York and New Jersey, reports Bloomberg.
Google is to pitch in about $200 million for the $5 billion project. The story quotes Charlie Hodges, a wind industry analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance in London, saying:
The North American wind industry hasn't had any players involved with the motivation and financial heft to really move this market forward. Google could play that role.
However, Henry Blodget at Business Insider notes that this project appears to be advancing after 10 years of lawsuits by rich people who don't want to look at wind turbines from the picture windows of their beach homes. Now, he adds:
Brace yourselves for massive opposition by coal, oil, and other fossil-fuel companies, who won't want to see 2 million customers have another option.
Yesterday, the Google news was of investment in cars that drive themselves. Business Insider also suggests that these projects, far afield from Google's core business, are its way of holding onto top engineers.