At the end of last year, Google announced that they were purchasing 842 megawatts (MW) of additional renewable energy to power data center operations. The company says that this move will take them one step closer to running 100 percent of our operations on clean energy. What a fantastic goal for any company to have, right?
In a statement posted on Google’s Green Blog, Marc Oman, EU Energy Lead, Google Global Infrastructure commented on the development:
Today, we walked further down that path by agreeing to purchase an additional 236 MW of energy from two new wind farms in Norway and Sweden.
A Vesta wind farm in Sweden
These new Nordic power purchase agreements complement our three other Swedish wind deals and enable us to power even more of our European operations with renewable energy. In total, we now have seven purchase agreements in Europe, totalling more than 500 MW and 18 such deals globally, which means we’ve now purchased nearly 2.5 gigawatts (GW) worldwide – the equivalent of taking over 1 million cars off the road.
As with our other power purchase agreements, we’re buying the entire production of these new wind farms, situated in two great areas for onshore wind in Europe. In Norway, power will be generated by a 50-turbine project near Stavanger, which is set to be completed in late 2017. In Sweden, we’re buying power from a 22-turbine project, near Mariestad and Töreboda, which will be completed by early 2018. In both cases, we’ve signed long-term contracts that give us price certainty and help wind farm developers secure construction financing, in these cases from companies like Blackrock and Ardian.
One of our key goals is to enable the addition of new renewable energy generation capacity to the grid, rather than drawing power from existing facilities. And thanks to Europe’s increasingly integrated energy market, we’re able to buy wind energy in Norway and Sweden, and consume it elsewhere in Europe.
We’ve known for a long time that reducing energy usage and using renewables makes good business sense – we signed our first major power purchase agreement for 114 MW of Iowa wind in 2010. Others are discovering the benefits of renewables too – in the US alone, companies bought almost 3.5 GW of renewable energy last year. We’re pleased to have played a part in stimulating the market for corporate renewable energy purchasing and doing our share in the effort to mitigate climate change.
It is very encouraging to see a company like Google with such a large and growing global footprint to be leading the way in development and support of clean energy. Windfarms like this can go a long way in weaning the world off of our fatal addiction to fossil fuels.
This comes on the heels of an announcement by Google on June 29th, stating that they have agreed to purchase the entire output of a 120 Mw wind farm being biult in Norway. The company plans to use all of this clean generated electricity to supply thier vast European data centers.
If you are curious as to what it looks like inside of a Google data center, check out this video below:
Thanks for this team Google!
Note: Thanks to Vestas for the photos of existing wind farms in Sweden. It is not clear which wind turbine company will be providing the turbines to these Google funded projects.
About Gordon Smith Gordon's expertise in the area of industrial energy efficiency and alternative energy. He is an experienced electrical engineer with a Masters degree in Alternative Energy technology. He is the co-founder of several renewable energy media sites including Solar Thermal Magazine.