Further increasing its focus on powering its facilities via renewable energy sources, Google today announced it has signed its first ever deal with a utility provider to increase the amount of renewable wind energy powering its data centers.
The new deal has been signed with the Grand River Dam Authority (GRDA) to provide 48 megawatts of wind energy from the Canadian Hills Wind Project in Oklahoma, which will be supplied to its data center in the state when it goes live later this year.
It’s not the first time Google has worked with the GRDA, in fact it already supplies the power for its Oklahoma data center. When the new Canadian Hills project goes online, Google will then pay a premium to procure the renewable energy it generates, bringing its total renewable energy footprint to 260 megawatts.
Google announced its carbon neutrality commitment in 2007, signing deals with Bloom Energy to provide clean power at its Mountain View HQ to provide 400 kW of onsite clean energy from 2008. Since then, it has scaled its operations to draw from renewable energy suppliers in each of the areas it operates, most notably its data centers.
Google notes on its Green Power website:
We’ve completed two, large-scale Power Purchase Agreements or PPAs—long-term financial commitments to buy renewable energy from specific facilities. The first is for 114 MW of wind generation from NextEra’s Story County II facility in Iowa, and the second for 100.8 MW of wind generation from their Minco II facility in Oklahoma. Our agreements are for 20 years.
Google has typically bought power directly from the developers of renewable energy projects instead of buying resources via a utility provider. The GDRA is better placed to introduce more renewable power into its offering, making it easier to Google to remain focused on adhering to its corporate mandate.
Image Credit: Charles Cook/Flickr
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