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Google continues renewable rampage with new wind farm investment

11 Sep 2018

In April last year Google announced that it had reached its target of purchasing enough renewable energy to match all the power the company consumed across its global operations.

This includes both its data centres and offices around the world. And because the company is expanding seemingly every day, Google Global Infrastructure EU Energy Lead Marc Oman says they need to be constantly investing in new sources of renewable energy to stay on top of their goal.

In light of this, the company today announced agreements to purchase additional renewable energy from from three new Finland wind farms producing a total of 190 MW. These agreements represent Google’s first such deals in the country.

“These power purchase agreements (PPAs), signed with three of Europe’s leading renewable energy developers—CPC, Neoen, and WPD—will add new renewable capacity to the same grid where we draw power for our data centre in Hamina,” says Oman.

“They’re also our first renewable power purchases in Europe from projects that will not receive any government subsidy, demonstrating that, in a growing number of locations, the cost of new renewable energy is competitive with the cost of power from the grid. We’ve now signed 14 purchase agreements in Europe totalling nearly 900 MW of wind and solar capacity.”

Oman says that while the purchase of renewable energy makes sense from an ‘environmentally-friendly’ standpoint (and certainly from a PR point of view), it also makes good business-sense as the long-term and fixed-price contracts protect the company from the volatility of fuel prices.

And then of course, there are the benefits for local economies.

“Just like our data centre investments, our renewable energy purchases also bring benefits in the form of jobs and economic activity to communities where the projects are developed and built. To date, Google’s PPAs in Europe have enabled 1 billion euros in investment into renewable energy,” says Oman.

“As our operations in Europe continue to grow, so too will our renewable energy purchases. We also want to help all companies secure a clear and easy path to purchasing renewable energy in Europe, and are working with other companies and nonprofit organisations to make that happen.”

Oman asserts Google is the world’s largest corporate buyer of renewable energy  and is confident that will continue as the company continues expanding in Europe and accelerating the region’s clean energy transition.

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