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Energy Secretary Chu stops by Google for 'fireside' chat

Posted Oct 25 2010 8:38am
Steven Chu at Google in 2009

Energy Secretary Steve Chu visited Google headquarters in California to praise the company for its investment in a offshore cable that will bring more renewable energy to the East Coast. | Video screenshot courtesy of Google

Energy Secretary Steven Chu praised Google Friday for investing in an undersea power line for offshore wind farms during a “fireside” chat with the company’s employees.

"The Atlantic undersea cable could have a tremendous impact," said Chu at the company’s Mountain View headquarters, 40 miles south of San Francisco, reports the San Francisco Chronicle . "It's a very, very good project."

The search engine giant and Good Energies are investing in an offshore cable in the Atlantic Ocean that will carry 6 GW of wind-generated electricity between New Jersey and Virginia.


Each has agreed to provide 37.5 percent of the initial funding for the 350-mile line.

Speaking at the Googleplex, the nickname for its corporate headquarters, Chu participated in a question-and-answer session with employees before meeting with researchers and scientists to learn more about the company’s innovative ventures in the energy sector.

Chu told the crowd during the session that this latest venture—the proposed Atlantic Wind Connection (AWC) transmission line—could help provide more renewable power to East Coast cities. The line could carry enough energy to serve approximately 1.9 million households, according to Google.

Last year’s visit makes an impact

Chu stopped by Google last year around this time to discuss President Obama’s vision for a clean energy future and announce the first $151 million in grant funding through the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy, or ARPA-E.

“Wind is on a good footing,” Chu said last year at Google to CEO Eric Schmidt. “[But] we need something to deal with transmission over larger distances and energy storage…We need a distribution system that can support the energy over hundred or really thousands of miles. So that has to be developed concurrently as we gear up renewables.”

That statement apparently resonated with Google.   A year later, the company would announce the investment in the AWC project.

“We believe in investing in projects that make good business sense and further the development of renewable energy,” Rick Needham, Green Business Operations Director, wrote in the blog posting on October 11, 2010. “We are pleased to support this investment that will ultimately enable the Mid Atlantic to benefit from the tremendous wind resource off its coast.”

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