Google is currently working to develop breakthrough solar thermal technology (which it expects will be ready in 1-3 years). It has also gotten into the smart metering game with its innovative PowerMeter technology. In addition, there has been speculation of Google getting into the utility business (focusing on renewable energy, of course) since Google has officially created a subsidiary company titled Google Energy and gotten permission to buy and sell wholesale electricity.
Now, Google has taken one more step in this direction. It just invested $38.8 million in two wind farms in North Dakota.
The Wall Street Journal reports on Google’s newest investment:
The Mountain View, Calif., company said in a Monday blog post that it invested in wind farms built by NextEra Energy Resources, a unit of FPL Group Inc. The wind turbines, made by General Electric Co., generate 169.5 megawatts of power, enough to serve more than 55,000 homes….
“We’re aiming to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy–in a way that makes good business sense, too,” wrote Rick Needham, Google’s green business operations manager.
Google’s stakes in the wind farms are in the form of “tax equity” investments, in which investors take over a project and use federal tax credits granted to the project to offset their own taxes as a return….
The projects include a 120-megawatt wind farm in Barnes County, N.D., called Ashtabula 2, and a 49.5-megawatt wind facility called Wilton Wind 2, in Burleigh County, N.D.
Google seems set on achieving its goal of making renewable energy cheaper than coal (RE<C) and fighting climate change. In a continuous series of efforts to promote clean energy, Google is turning quite green. Perhaps, it should change the color of one or two of its letters — maybe the big G?
Image Credit:Tiger Pixel via flickr/CC license
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