Google is kicking in a major portion of the funding for a massive wind power project off the mid-Atlantic coast. The search king is investing in a 350-mile underwater cable network that will serve as a backbone for future wind farms, the New York Times reports. Google and renewable energy investment firm Good Energies have each agreed to take a 37.5% equity stake in the $5 billion project, which will begin construction in 2013 if regulatory hurdles can be overcome.
Experts say the proposed system will make it much easier to build offshore wind farms, and say the network will be able to route electricity supplies past congested parts of the grid even before wind turbines come online, helping lower costs for consumers. "The project removes a major barrier to scaling up offshore wind," Google's director of green business operations wrote in a blog post, describing the network as "a superhighway for clean energy." (Read more wind farm stories.)