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Elia Joins Marubeni, Google in Backing Atlantic Wind Project

Elia System Operator NV, Europe’s fourth largest electric-grid operator, is investing in a $5.5 billion power transmission project off the U.S. Atlantic coast that will link 6,000 megawatts of offshore wind farms.

The undersea power lines off the coasts of New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia will be developed in five segments, Brussels-based Elia said today in a statement. The company acquired a 10 percent stake in the first segment and 5 percent of the remaining segments, without saying how much it invested.

Tokyo-based trading company Marubeni Corp. and Zug, Switzerland-based clean energy investor Good Energies are also backing the project, and Google Inc. is providing 42 percent of the pre-construction equity.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in May granted a 12.6 percent return on equity for the project, less than the 13.6 percent sought by the developers.

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