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Google investment will boost Virginia wind industry, JMU expert says

Virginia’s wind energy industry received a “shot in the arm” this week when Google announced it will invest $200 million in a project to harvest electricity from wind farms off the Mid-Atlantic coast.

Dr. Jonathan Miles, director of the Virginia Center for Wind Energy at James Madison University, said Google’s 37.5 percent stake in the development stage of the Atlantic Wind Connection Project will energize research on wind in Virginia.

“The idea of an offshore transmission backbone has been discussed for a number of years as a means to offset some of the cost and risk associated with offshore wind development. A secondary benefit presented by this infrastructure is to alleviate some of the transmission congestion that exists and will likely worsen along the northeast corridor,” said Miles, a panelist this week at the Governor’s Conference on Energy.

In addition to being director of the Virginia Center for Wind Energy, Miles is a professor of integrated science and technology at JMU. From 2007 to 2009, he also worked as an energy specialist with the U.S. Department of Energy, providing support to the DoE’s Wind Powering America program with emphasis on Mid-Atlantic and southeastern states, and to the Regional Wind Energy Institute at the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.

Edited by Chris Graham. Chris can be reached at

augusta free press
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