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Google Wind Project Seeks U.S. Approval for Offshore Power Line

A Google Inc (GOOG).-backed effort to build a $5 billion undersea power line to support wind energy from New Jersey to Virginia is seeking approval from the U.S. Interior Department.

Atlantic Wind Connection filed an application today with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement for the right to build the transmission line on the Outer Continental Shelf in the Atlantic.

The project “would enhance the competitive regional electric market by increasing supply options and reducing congestion on existing facilities,” Markian Melnyk, president of Atlantic Grid Development, which is developing the project, said in a statement.

Atlantic Wind Connection’s 300-mile power line, buried under the sea floor, would connect to wind turbines off the mid- Atlantic coast. Maryland regulators and regional utilities have opposed the project’s request for incentives, including a guaranteed 13.58 percent return on equity, to build the line.

Google of Mountain View, California, operator of the world’s most popular Internet search engine, owns 42 percent of the project. Backers include Tokyo-based trading company Marubeni Corp. and Good Energies, a clean-energy investment firm based in Zug, Switzerland.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Wingfield in Washington at Bwingfield3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Liebert at lliebert@bloomberg.net

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