BALTIMORE (AP) —  Federal energy regulators approved rates for a proposed $5 billion offshore wind power transmission line that are lower than the developers of the Google-backed venture had sought.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission announced Thursday that it had approved a 12.59 percent return on equity for the Atlantic Wind Connection project. Atlantic Wind had sought a 13.58 percent return.

FERC said in order to qualify the project must be included in the expansion plans being considered by the regional transmission grid operator, PJM Interconnection. The project also must also secure approval from the U.S. Interior Department and state regulators from New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland.

Google joined a handful of companies in October in announcing the proposal. The lines would run up to 20 miles offshore from Virginia to New Jersey.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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