Google buys 12 years of power from a wind farm that doesn’t exist yet

In a move towards the company’s aim of running 100% of its operations on clean energy, Google has bought up the entire energy output of a 50-turbine, Norwegian wind farm.

Google buys 12 years of power from a wind farm that doesn’t exist yet

The farm isn’t set to be operational until 2017, but Google has secured 12-years of its electricity to power the company’s European data centres. The search giant has also bought the output of a second, 22-turbine wind farm in Sweden, due to be completed in 2018. Together, the two farms are expected to provide a total of 236 megawatts.

“One of our key goals is to enable the addition of new renewable energy generation capacity to the grid, rather than drawing power from existing facilities,” wrote Marc Oman, EU energy lead for Google Global Infrastructure, on the company’s European blog. “And thanks to Europe’s increasingly integrated energy market, we’re able to buy wind energy in Norway and Sweden, and consume it elsewhere in Europe.”

Google now has a total of 7 renewable energy purchase agreements in Europe, and 18 worldwide. In the blogpost, Oman claims this amount to nearly 2.5 gigawatts of power, “the equivalent of taking over 1 million cars off the road.”  

It’s a move in the right direction, but there’s the question of why Google doesn’t do more to build its own clean energy sources. Apple, for example, is building 200 megawatts of solar energy in China, as well as working with suppliers to bring more than 4 gigawatts of new clean energy.

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