Google, Inc. recently announced that it has signed a deal with EDF Renewable Energy (EDF RE), as well as with five other renewable energy companies including Invenergy LLC and RES Americas, to purchase renewable energy for its data center. The power purchase agreement (PPA) will provide Google with the full output of the 201-MW Great Western Wind Project located in Woodward and Ellis counties near the base of the Oklahoma panhandle. The project will commence construction in the first quarter of 2016 and be fully operational by the end of the year.
The deal was announced in Paris as part of Google’s presence at the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21). The announcement brings Google one step closer to its commitment to triple the purchases of renewable energy by 2025 and eventually powering 100 percent of its operations with clean energy. One of the key actions on the ambitious journey to rely more on renewable energy is to partner with EDF RE to build the Great Western Wind Project and place more clean energy on the grid.
The Great Western Wind Project will be comprised of 30 V117 (unit capacity of 3.3 MW) and 51 V100 (unit capacity of 2.2 MW) wind turbines supplied by Vestas. The amount of power generated will be equivalent to avoiding more than 600,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions annually. This is equivalent to the emissions of 125,000 passenger vehicles driven over the course of one year.
“The participation of Google to directly procure wind power demonstrates their understanding of both the environmental benefits of renewable energy as well as the business opportunity,” said Tristan Grimbert, CEO and president of EDF Renewable Energy. “Wind not only emits zero greenhouse gas emissions, but it also delivers long-term energy price stability. We applaud their leadership in action around the climate change conversation and providing the financial certainty through the power purchase agreement to remove a key barrier to building a wind project.”
According to Gary Demasi, Google’s director of operations for Data Center Energy and Location Strategy, Google has already committed to purchase more renewable energy than any other company.
Google joins EDF’s growing North America portfolio of corporate purchasers including Procter & Gamble, Microsoft, Yahoo, Groupo Modelo, and Walmart.
This new PPA builds on the relationship forged between the two companies in December 2012 when Google made an approximately $200 million equity investment in EDF RE’s Spinning Spur Wind Project, a 161-MW facility located in Oldham County, Texas, demonstrating that corporations can serve as a new source of capital for the renewable energy sector.
Google is already the largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy in the world, and the Great Western Wind Project adds to the company’s long-term contracts to buy green electricity from wind generation, bringing the total portfolio of renewables to nearly 2 GW.
— Source: EDF Renewable Energy