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Clean Power Google invests in large solar energy project

Published on September 18th, 2013 | by Zachary Shahan

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Google To “Buy” 100% Of Electricity From 240 MW Texas Wind Farm

September 18th, 2013 by  


google-energyGoogle has been leading the way on clean energy for years. Still, it isn’t resting on its laurels. The Internet giant (“King of the Internet,” as many of us in the industry call it) has just announced that it has signed a power purchase agreement to buy all of the electricity produced by a new wind farm in Texas, a giant 240 MW wind farm called Happy Hereford Wind Farm. The wind farm is near Amarillo, Texas — in case you know the area and are a bit curious.

This is a big agreement that boosts Google’s total agreements with wind farms to 540 MW. That’s pretty astounding. To put that in terms most people can relate to, that’s enough power capacity to supply up to 170,000 homes with electricity.

“The Happy Hereford wind farm, which is expected to start producing energy in late 2014, is being developed by Chermac Energy, a small, Native American-owned company based in Oklahoma,” Google’s Matt Pfile, Senior Manager of Data Center Energy and Location Strategy, writes. “The wind farm will provide energy to the Southwest Power Pool (SPP), the regional grid that serves our Mayes County, Okla. data center.”

Here are some more details on how this agreement and previous agreements like it are arranged:

The structure of this agreement is similar to our earlier commitments in Iowa and Oklahoma. Due to the current structure of the market, we can’t consume the renewable energy produced by the wind farm directly, but the impact on our overall carbon footprint and the amount of renewable energy on the grid is the same as if we could consume it. After purchasing the renewable energy, we’ll retire the renewable energy credits (RECs) and sell the energy itself to the wholesale market. We’ll apply any additional RECs produced under this agreement to reduce our carbon footprint elsewhere.

For more, check out the full Google post.

As I stated above, Google has been a pioneer in the use and even development of clean energy for years. Check out our entire Google archives for more. A few notable stories from 2013 include:

And here’s a summary post I wrote in 2011 regarding Google’s clean energy investments: Google’s Clean Energy Projects (7 Big Ones)

But there’s actually much more there than all of these (over 100 stories!), so scroll through the archives for more. 
 





 

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About the Author

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species). He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor. He's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession and Solar Love. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, and Canada. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in. But he offers no professional investment advice and would rather not be responsible for you losing money, so don't jump to conclusions.



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