Google Buying Wind Power for Oklahoma Data Center

Google April 21 said it is buying 100.8 megawatts of wind power from NextEra Energy Resources over the next 20 years to fuel its forthcoming data center in Oklahoma.

Google April 21 inked its second clean power purchase agreement, agreeing to buy 100.8 megawatts of wind energy to power its new data center in Oklahoma.

Google agreed to purchase all of the energy from clean energy provider NextEra Energy Resources' Minco II wind facility in Oklahoma for the next 20 years. Google expects its Oklahoma data center, currently under construction on the windy plains of Mayes County, will be fully operational later this year.

Financial terms were not made public for this purchase, the search engine's second clean power purchase from NextEra Energy Resources through its Google Energy unit in less than a year. Google acquired 114MW of wind power from NextEra's Story II Wind Energy Center in Iowa last July.

Google, which secured the right to buy and sell power from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission last year, expects to buy enough power to run several data centers.

The company has built dozens of data centers all over the world, loading them with servers that power the company's cloud computing network, which supports its search engine and other Web services.

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.

Gary Demasi, a member of Google's global infrastructure team, said that while Google's data center techniques have helped reduced the company's energy consumption by half, purchasing clean energy to fuel its power-hungry data centers is another way to scale back its emissions.

"We've made the commitment to be a carbon neutral company, and this purchase is part of our effort to minimize our impact on the environment," Demasi said in a blog post.

Google published this white paper on its renewable energy purchases.

The Oklahoma wind power buy caps a busy two weeks of green energy efforts by Google, which has invested over $350 million in renewable energy projects to date.

Google earlier this week invested $100 million into the Shepherds Flat Wind Farm, which is expected to produce 845 megawatts of electricity, or enough to fuel more than 235,000 homes.

Google April 11 pumped $168 million into a solar energy power plant BrightSource Energy is building in California's Mojave Desert.