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Google says it's investing in an underwater power backbone that will connect 6,000 megawatts of wind turbines along the Atlantic coast of the United States. On Monday evening Pacific time, with a blog post, Google announced it had agreed to invest in the Atlantic Wind Connection (AWC) backbone, which will connect off-shore wind …

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and when the wind drops...

...each pie that google has a pie in falls.

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Labouring mightily

Bringing forth a mouse.

All this effort, all the logistics, all the fatalities (inevitable in any large construction, especially at sea), just to create the equivalent of one (1) decent sized conventional power station.

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Boffin

What conventional powerstation are we going with?

6GW is quite a bit of juice. I would like to see the conventional plant putting that out. Now a NUCLEAR plant, maybe.

To put it in perspective the largest operating nuclear plant in the world, Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant in Japan has an output of 8.2 GW, followed by the Bruce Nuclear Generating Station in Canada at 6.2 GW, then Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in the Ukraine at 6.0GW (all others are less then 6 GW).

There are also 10 Hydroelectric dams in the world that can produce 6GW or more. (actually the top 4 power-stations, world-wide are hydro-electric).

So to recap there are 13 powerstations on the ENTIRE PLANET that can output that much (or more). Of those, 3 are nuclear,10 are hydroelectric, and none are fossil-fuel.

(WARNING: "facts" were sourced from wackypedia, YMMV)

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@Oninoshiko

"6GW is quite a bit of juice. I would like to see the conventional plant putting that out..."

It's only 1.5 Draxes*. However, Drax almost certainly runs to capacity for most of the time, while this 6GW rated capacity installation will likely average between 1.5GW and 2GW (sometimes putting out 0GW).

*Actually, the Google part is 0 Draxes - this project is just cabling; the windmills & turbines are extra.

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I stand by my assertion.

1.5 is only equal to 1 for EXTREMELY large values of 1.

It's carrying, not really putting out. You actually note this, but don't seem to quite catch the implication of if, namely that it can just as easily carry power between any other two points that it connects to the grid. That is a valuable trait in a region that has had numerous large-scale power failures due to the inability of the regional grid to carry enough power.

And while the google part not actually being production, is a valid point, I was only addressing the amount of power we are talking about it's transit capacity being, which is not "1 conventional powerstation." Not even, by your own admission, 1 Drax powerstation.

(I do not consider nuclear power "conventional" any more then I consider nuclear weapons "conventional." I do not consider hydro conventional because of the strict geographical requirements of it.)

Ergo, I stand by my assertion.

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Paris Hilton

Nice one Google!

Very nice indeed!

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Pirate

an interesting statistic would be

how many of Google's data centers could this underwater power backbone power? (ie - how much power is Google using vs how much power will these windmills generate).

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FAIL

virtually out-of-sight.....Which means you will be able to see them!

so Ok google all of the US Atlantic coast will just give up their view of the coast line so you can make some profit from the endeavor.

Sick, they are so self entitled that don't SEE the evil that THEY do.

What right does Google or this wind company have to plant large floating platforms to dump wind turbines on? I thought this land belonged to the US (and its people, not its corporations)

Hell if I new the US atlantic coast was up for grabs I would have planted floating platforms out there decades ago, and set up a rule-free Vegas style island off the coast of NY.

Again, they see something of public ownership that no "one" else owns, and they feel they are entitled to take it.....

Booo.... boo to Google

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Lets try some facts shall we?

These turbines are not on floating platforms - they are set in the sea floor which is why the water needs to be relatively shallow.

10miles offshore you will need binoculars to really see anything like this. They really will be just a smudge on the horizon. 15 miles away - over the horizon. And to be honest, there is NOTHING to see looking out to sea anyway, so difficult to know what view is being ruined. (I know, I sail, and the sea is pretty boring to look at)

Google are building the backbone, not the turbines.

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im sick of NIMBYs

Well would you prefer barely being able to see some wind turbines off in the distance or a honking great bit nuclear plant down the road from your place.

Or maybe you just think the power you are using comes from pixies and unicorns?

K

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No problem.

Just sign yourself up to the "I want to run on fossil fuels, but only those produced in the (ex)-good ol' USofA landmass" gang.

After all, you wouldn't want any produced from offshore rigs would you?

Turn the lights on the way out, may not come back on though.

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Distance to Horizon Calculator

> Virtually out-of-sight.....Which means you will be able to see them! #

<http://www.ringbell.co.uk/info/hdist.htm>

My calcualtions suggest a tower 100m above sea level is visible from sea level 37.5km away. If the tower height + tip of the rotors is 200m, that becomes 50.5km

Are they more or less attractive than huge cooling towers or smoke stacks planted right in the middle of the countryside?

Where else should the energy come from?

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Re: im (sic) sick of NIMBYs

"Well would you prefer barely being able to see some wind turbines off in the distance or a honking great bit nuclear plant down the road from your place."

Give me the nuclear one. Then I can rely on the supply; and it will be cheaper.

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loverly hurricane wind catcher

at least one a year runs right up this path .. can they send some high voltage out to the Western States, our wind power isn't working out very well

oh .. wait ..

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Other options?

Not just out to bash Google, just don't understand why Google has the option to invest in our (US) power grid. Why doesn't this company approach the Govt, and have the company get paid a fair amount for delivering a product (real fckng simple you'd think) and then the Govt owns this facility.

Why would give this kind of monopoly control of our resources to one company just so they can turn around use this "right" as leverage to make as much money as possible.

How about for public works projects their is an public IPO, and if you believe in the project then you would offer your real money to fund it. Want a bridge, or toll road, send in your money.

When the toll road gets built, all the normal citizens that invested, start getting their money back, plus a reasonable profit for having funded the endeavor. Why do we let politicians give this shit away to their friends and private companies. Understand the place of capitalism for development of new markets, and technologies. Don't understand why we let robber barrons come in and rent our public needs to ourselves.

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Easy

the US Government does have the money. The greedy bankers took it and wasted it on Crystal and Bentleys.

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Joke

title

are you some kind of communist..... boy?

:-)

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Yes, you appear to be a communist

No tea party for you, eh ?

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Good luck

Perhaps if there aren't too many NIMBY Senators with dreams of ocean views far beyond the horizon in that neck of the woods then perhaps this won't be DOA like the one off Edgartown.

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Hypothetically of course...

I hope Google starts expanding into the energy sector because British Gas is taking the piss.

Let's face it, Google conquers anything they set their sights on.

They'll merge with walmart one of these days and have enough money to buy Africa, and rename it Google land or something

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Re: im sick of NIMBYs # ↑

"Well would you prefer barely being able to see some wind turbines off in the distance or a honking great bit nuclear plant down the road from your place."

And I'm sick of semi-literates banging on and on about energy issues they know nothing about.

Nuclear power supplies base load. (Look it up.)

Wind power cannot supply base load and cannot function without fossil-fueled backup either. You still need a "honking great bit nuclear plant" and/or coal- and gas-fired plants no matter how many windmills you build.

The nuclear vs wind power dichotomy is at once a mantra for the ignorant and a catchphrase of the vested interest. That's why so many politicians love it.

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But the grid will be smart!

Smart enough to drain all the batteries in everybody's electric cars and switch their freezers off when it's calm. And who wouldn't want that eh ? What ? Really, that many ? Oh well, back to the drawing board.

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They could re-use that old slogan ...

... powered by Google.

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The cost of wind, the price of wind, the value of wind

For anyone interested in learning more about wind power, try this search for a list of articles:

<http://www.theoildrum.com/search/apachesolr_search/wind%20power%20base%20load%20jerome?filters=uid%3A884>

Esp. The cost of wind, the price of wind, the value of wind

<http://europe.theoildrum.com/node/5354>

Wind's latest problem: it . . . makes power too cheap

<http://europe.theoildrum.com/node/6418>

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Cynical? Moi?

"We're Google, we're drinking absolutely shit-loads of juice in our 1 gazillion-watt data centres and we don't need the government or anyone else coming down our plans for world domination ( mwhahahaha! ) so we'll make a token effort to support the greenies while still drinking juice like it's going out of fashion!"

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Interesting play from Google..

Since they are not actually investing in the wind farms, just the grid connections, Google are making a smart play here. They will make a one-off investment in known technology and simply charge a fee for everyone else to pass on their supply from wind turbines that will need constant repair/management.

They are basically investing in the safest aspect of wind power (in terms of return on investment) since the economics of wind generation is completely tied up in government subsidies which may change - with the wind..... (sorry, couldn't resist!)

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Black Helicopters

National security?

Wind farms have already been noted as causing radar blackout areas - I wonder what the Pentagon thinks of having most of the eastern seaboard blacked out for incoming cruise missiles?

[Black helicopters - because they wouldn't be needed anymore for sneaking up on the US]

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Wind DE - Stabilizes power grids

It is a well known fact that wind energy actually destabilizes power grids. The people who sell power lines really, really like this fact cause they get to install more lines, switches and stations. We get to pay.

Wind power has never worked to reduce carbon emissions. Denmark has the dirtiest power in Europe, and the most wind per capita. France has the cleanest power, and it ain't from wind!

This whole wind thing is a sham designed to separate you from your money. The real way to reduce carbon from electrical generation in the USA is to generate less - i.e. conserve. The US wastes lots of power. But using less of anything is almost un - american!

Tom Andersen

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German/EU grid instability due to wind generation

<http://www.wind-watch.org/documents/eon-netz-wind-report-2005/>

(download and read the full report from the link on the page)

Avoiding the instability requires a duplication of the high-voltage power transmission grid. It's not commercially viable without dipping into the wallets of taxpayers.

See also <http://www.windaction.org/documents/4446>

There are also micro-climate effects from wind-power, downwind as a result of extracting energy from the wind. This includes changing precipitation patterns.

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