Atlantic Wind ConnectionImage: GoogleOnce upon a time, Google was a simple white web page with a little search bar.

Now, the company has its own Google Price Index, Google Television, a Google phone — even a “driverless” Google car.

So what’s next for the search giant? Apparently, green energy.

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Google announced last week that it was investing at least $200 million in an unprecedented plan to build a transmission network for wind energy across the Atlantic Seabord. Called the Atlantic Wind Connection, the 350-mile spine would allow offshore wind farms in the waters off Virginia, Delaware, and New Jersey to power as many as 2 million homes, once the project gets off the ground in 2016.

The Climate DeskAs a company, Google has drawn its fair share of criticism, from privacy advocates for example. But the wind farm project seems to have achieved a surprising amount of consensus. Both the Republican governors of New Jersey and Virginia are for it, as is the Obama administration.

To learn more about the plan, Alison Stewart of PBS’s Need to Know spoke with Rick Needham, the director of green business operations for Google and a former nuclear submarine officer. According to Needham, Google’s investment not only makes good sense, it makes good business as well.

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