Although we live in an AC-dominated world, DC seems poised for a comeback, particularly in data centers. Facebook adopted a DC architecture in its Prineville, Ore., data center. SAP spent $128,000 retrofitting a datacenter at its offices in Palo Alto, Calif., to rely on DC power.
Google is taking a step into the Atlantic in its ongoing wind power ambitions. The New York Times reported late last night that Google is investing in a huge transmission cable project, the Atlantic Wind Connection, hoped to carry up to 6,000 megawatts of power from yet-to-be built wind turbines off the Mid-Atlantic coast to states from New Jersey to Virginia. The project’s expected to cost $5 billion, and Google’s 37.5 percent stake in the initial development phase could end up being worth $200 million if it succeeds, the NYT reports. Google’s already committed to buying wind power and invested in a North Dakota wind farm earlier this year. On a side note, the NYT says that governors of East Coast states have been lobbying the Senate to oppose the building of transmission lines to carry Midwest wind power to the eastern seaboard — perhaps as a bargaining chip for federal support of this offshore wind power plan?
Could superconducting cable revolutionize the way electric grids operate? American Superconductor believes so, and plans to test it out in projects including one on South Korea’s smart grid test bed of Jeju Island.