Google on Thursday announced an equity investment of $75 million in a 50MW wind farm in Rippey, about an hour outside of Des Moines. At the same time, the company revealed it has now committed almost $1 billion, “more than $990 million” quoting directly, to the renewable energy sector so far.
RPM Access is behind the Rippey project, which is estimated to produce enough energy to power over 15,000 Iowa homes courtesy of turbines produced by Nordex USA. Google is quick to underline that both firms are in the US, which makes sense as Google is also an American company.
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So why is Google pushing so hard for renewable energy in Iowa? As the company notes, it has a data center in Council Bluffs , and has been piling money into the area ever since it opened five years ago:
In 2007, we announced plans to construct a data center in Council Bluffs. Then in the spring of 2012, we announced that we would be building a second facility. Over time, we’ve invested over $900 million and have established a long-term commitment to the region and state. We’ve created over 130 jobs on site so far, and we work hard to support the communities in which our employees live and work.
Since 2008, we’ve awarded more than $608,000 to local schools and nonprofits. Additionally, in October 2011, we partnered with the City of Council Bluffs to launch a free Wi-Fi Network for anyone in and around three Council Bluffs areas: Downtown Council Bluffs, Mid America Center, and the Harvey Recreational Complex.
Now, in addition to purchasing wind energy from a wind farm, Google is investing directly into a wind project. Again, this isn’t a blind investment: the Rippey project has been contracted to sell all of its energy to the Central Iowa Power Cooperative, an Iowa-based utility that delivers the energy to local consumers.
Image credit: Petr Kovar