Google made big news earlier this week, announcing that it would be acquiring Nest Labs, the maker of the Nest Learning Thermostat. Google has a long history of investing in clean energy and clean technologies like Nest, and it has continued that trend, announcing Tuesday that it had invested $75 million into the Panhandle 2 wind farm in Carson County, Texas.
This is Google’s second investment in Texas, and its 15th renewable energy investment overall. Just a year ago Google announced that it had invested $200 million into the Spinning Spur Wind Project in Oldham County, Texas, and it has followed it up with its new Panhandle 2 investment.
The 182 MW facility is being developed by Pattern Energy Group, and upon completion will generate enough electricity to power approximately 56,000 US homes. The site is expected to be completed later this year.
It was also announced in September of 2013 that Google would be purchasing the entire output of the 240 MW Happy Hereford wind farm outside Amarillo, Texas, for use by Google’s Mayes County, Oklahoma data center. While just two months later, Google announced that it was teaming up with investment firm KKR to invest in six utility-scale solar facilities located throughout California and Arizona. The combined generating capacity of the six projects amounts to 106 MW, and upon completion is set to generate enough energy to power over 17,000 averager US homes.
Google has so far invested more than $1 billion into wind and solar projects, generating over 2 GW in total, and is continuing to strive towards ensuring all its data centers are being powered by completely renewable sources. It’s a big step for such a corporate giant, and one that will hopefully continue to spur others to follow in the company’s wake.
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