Google Signs On To Repower Iconic Bay Area Wind Farm

Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

Google has signed a long-term power purchase agreement with NextEra Energy Resources to acquire the energy generated by California’s Altamont Pass wind farm to power its North Bayshore campus in Mountain View.

The power purchase agreement (PPA) is not the first time Google is entering into agreements for clean energy, however, it is the first time that it has done so for one of their offices.

The investment will pour money into the wind farm to purchase new wind turbines that will allow the apparently iconic wind farm generate 43 MW of clean energy.

“We think this project is especially cool because back in the 1980’s, the golden hills of Altamont Pass were an early test bed for the first large-scale wind power technology in the US,” said Google’s David Radcliffe, VP, Real Estate and Workplace Services.

“We’ve been blown away (pun intended :)) by how far turbine technology has come since then. Once the installation is complete, and the 370 legacy turbines are replaced, it will take just 24 new ones to generate as much power as our campus uses in a year. Talk about doing more with less.”


Google has already been busy this year, after 2014 brought its wind contracts up to 1,040 MW. It finished off 2014 announcing that its new €600 million data center in Eemshaven in the Netherlands will be powered entirely by renewable energy, after signing a 10-year PPA with Dutch power company Eneco to provide 100% renewable energy from the first day of the data center’s operation.

Moving into 2015, and the internet megalith signed its 18th clean energy investment in January of this year, backing a 104 MW solar power plant being built in Utah.

Have a tip for CleanTechnica? Want to advertise? Want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

CleanTechnica Holiday Wish Book

Holiday Wish Book Cover

Click to download.

Our Latest EVObsession Video

I don't like paywalls. You don't like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Here at CleanTechnica, we implemented a limited paywall for a while, but it always felt wrong — and it was always tough to decide what we should put behind there. In theory, your most exclusive and best content goes behind a paywall. But then fewer people read it!! So, we've decided to completely nix paywalls here at CleanTechnica. But...
Like other media companies, we need reader support! If you support us, please chip in a bit monthly to help our team write, edit, and publish 15 cleantech stories a day!
Thank you!

CleanTechnica uses affiliate links. See our policy here.

Joshua S Hill

I'm a Christian, a nerd, a geek, and I believe that we're pretty quickly directing planet-Earth into hell in a handbasket! I also write for Fantasy Book Review (, and can be found writing articles for a variety of other sites. Check me out at for more.

Joshua S Hill has 4403 posts and counting. See all posts by Joshua S Hill

7 thoughts on “Google Signs On To Repower Iconic Bay Area Wind Farm

  • Google can start a clean power production multinational.
    billions of dollars made in the energy sector and even more in new clean energy sector.
    Apple can do too, same thing what Tesla does in car Industry.

    lot of money in Sun and Wind Power.

  • This is just part of the farm upgrade, a Goggle search says …
    “Nearly 2,000 of the 4,000 wind turbines in operation, many of which are nearly 30 years old, will be replaced over the next four years with about 100 huge state-of-the-art turbines that, at 430 feet, stand taller than the tallest coast redwood trees. For every new turbine installed, 23 of the old ones will be removed — a dramatic drop expected to significantly reduce the number of birds killed each year.”

    • A contract for 43MW only covers a smallish fraction of the total. Still these repowers have been very slow in coming, I’m sure the extra cash will speed up the process.

  • I am SO HAPPY about this. When I first lived in the Bay area in the 1980s, the Altamont pass was filled with spinning little windmills which showed that energy could be created in other ways. But over the years, those windmills eventually broke down and many were not repaired. They were not very efficient and the pass became sort of an image of failed renewable energy (even though it really wasn’t . . . it was just end of life stuff).

    Those many decades-old ancient wind turbines will be replaced with much larger and much more efficient wind turbines built with modern composite materials. They will crank out much more electricity in a big market with high electricity prices. It should be a very productive venture for the people building them. I hope google puts information on their output online because they are going to create a LOT energy in an important place.

    Thanks for your service old little windmills, but it is time for you to retire. You were pioneers. It will be much nicer to see the new big wind turbines that will be spinning instead of not moving like so many of the old little ones.

    • Besides that new wind farms with big turbines are less busy and more beautiful to look at, big wind turbines are also moving much more gracefully than the fast spinning little ones.

  • Replsacing the obsolete Altamont turbines will remove one bad-faith objection to wind, as there low, numerous, ugly and bird-slaying antiques are still used as examples of wind energy.

  • Given that Altamont has been about the only wind farm that has produced significant bird deaths (and figures for which are often quoted as standard for other wind farms, giving rise to a false impression that turbines kill birds) then I wonder if it ought to be re-developed at all.
    This is on a migration corridor and is a wintering area for raptors like Eagles.
    Yes, the current installation is a blight which ought to have gone long ago.
    But can we be sure that the new one will not be harmful to birds?
    Siting is key to avoiding bird deaths, which is why this is not an issue in (for example) the UK where birds are considered in the planning stage.

Comments are closed.