The world is atwitter over Google's ambitious plans to invest in the $5 billion Wind Connection Project. When completed, a 350 mile long network of underwater electricty cables capable of transmiting 6,000 megawatts of offshore wind energy would stretch from New Jersey to Virginia. And so far no government money has been mentioned.
The Google proposal reminded me of Energy Crisis era plans to moor as many as eight floating nuclear power plants off the Jersey shore. The idea was that the plants could be moored close to cities and use copious amounts of seawater to cool their reactors. In fact, Public Service Electric and Gas Company had ordered four reactors that were to be installed on a man-made island just north of Atlantic City. The project was canceled in 1978.
More recently the Russians have launched a controversial floating nuclear power plant to supply electricity to oil and gas operations in the Arctic. Back in 2007, Indian researchers suggested floating nuclear power plants could not only supply energy, but also use their excess heat to produce freshwater through desalination.