On July 20 Google said it will purchase 114 megawatts of clean energy from the NextEra Energy Resources wind farm in Iowa at a predetermined rate for 20 years. Google expects to grab enough power to run several data centers.
Google on July 20 said it will purchase 114 megawatts of clean energy from a
wind farm in Iowa at a predetermined rate for 20 years.
The company on July 30 will begin buying clean energy
from NextEra Energy Resources in Iowa. The deal, detailed
here, is the first of its kind for the Google Energy subsidiary.
Google expects to grab enough power to run several data
centers. The company built dozens of data centers all over the world,
loading them with commodity servers that power the company's search engine and
Web services in parallel.
These applications consume massive amounts of power and
the company has been working hard to reduce its carbon footprint, making its
data centers as energy efficient as possible through water cooling and other
techniques. The company also powers its Googleplex in Mountain View, Calif.,
with solar panels.
There are several reasons for procuring the clean power
over the next two decades. By buying energy at a set rate, Google is
protecting itself from boosts in power prices.
But the terms also give the wind farm financial certainty
to build more clean energy projects at a time when financing for renewable
energy developers has been scarce.
"We've been excited about this deal because taking
114 megawatts of wind power off the market for so long means producers have the
incentive and means to build more renewable energy capacity for other customers,"
said Urs Hoelzle, senior vice president of operations for Google.
Google's agreement with NextEra comes more than two
months after the company
pumped $38.8 million into two NextEra wind farms in North Dakota. These farms generate
enough wind energy for more than 55,000 homes.
gained the right to buy and sell power on regulated wholesale markets from the Federal
Energy Regulatory Commission in February.
A Google spokesperson explained the rationale for this
move to eWEEK:
"Google is interested in procuring more renewable
energy as part of our carbon neutrality commitment, and the ability to buy and
sell energy on the wholesale market could give us more flexibility in doing so.
We made this filing so we can have more flexibility in procuring power for
Google's own operations, including our data centers."
The grant also allowed Google to "hedge its purchases of energy and incorporate renewables
into its energy portfolio." The wind farm deal is an example of this goal.