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Published on December 2nd, 2017 | by Steve Hanley


Google Expands Its Commitment To Renewable Energy

December 2nd, 2017 by  

Google already purchases more renewable energy than any other corporation, but now it has agreed to 4 new contracts that will add 536 megawatts of wind power to its energy portfolio. Bloomberg New Energy Finance reports part of that package is 196 megawatts of power from two wind farms owned and operated by Avangrid in South Dakota. Another 200 megawatts will come from an EDF Renewable Energy project in Iowa. The final piece will be 140 megawatts from a wind farm located in Oklahoma owned by Enel.

Photo credit: Avangrid

Not all the wind farms are in operation yet. The Enel facility is expected to come online early next year. The EDF wind farm should be operational before the end of 2019. Construction of the Coyote Ridge and Tatanka Ridge wind energy projects in South Dakota is scheduled to begin in 2019. When all of the facilities are complete, Google will be using 2,397 megawatts of clean power in the US and 3,186 megawatts in total worldwide.

Amazon is the second biggest consumer of renewable energy, with 1,219 megawatts of installed capacity, all of it from US sources. It already gets 208 megawatts from another Avangrid wind farm in North Carolina. Power from that installation is used to operate Amazon’s Web Services division (AWS).

With the addition of the these latest contracts, Google will be able to power all of its US operations entirely from renewables. Kyle Harrison, a BNEF analyst based in New York, says Google’s “electricity consumption is considerable, but for them to meet that already by buying renewable energy is a huge achievement. Google is buying renewable energy across three continents, and has paved the way for dozens of other companies.”

Gary Demasi, Google’s director of global infrastructure, issued a statement this week about the agreement with Avangrid. “Renewables from projects like Coyote Ridge and Tatanka Ridge bring value to our business as we scale and accelerate investment in the communities where we operate. With solar and wind declining dramatically in cost and propelling significant employment growth, the transition to clean energy is driving unprecedented economic opportunity and doing so faster than we ever anticipated.”

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About the Author

Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Rhode Island and anywhere else the Singularity may lead him. His motto is, "Life is not measured by how many breaths we take but by the number of moments that take our breath away!" You can follow him on Google + and on Twitter.

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