EDF Renewable Energy (EDF RE) announced today that the 225 megawatt (MW) Great Western Wind Project (Project) began commercial operation on December 21, 2016. The project’s output is provided to Google under a long-term Power Purchase Agreement (PPA)
Located in Woodward and Ellis counties near the base of the Oklahoma panhandle, the Project is comprised of 30 V117 (unit capacity of 3.3 MW) and 63 V100 (unit capacity of 2.0 MW) wind turbines supplied by Vestas. The facility generates enough electricity to power 70,000 average Oklahoma homes, according to US Energy Information Administration.
“The success of the wind industry in 2016 can be attributed in part to corporate purchasers, like Google, who demonstrate their commitment to affordable renewable energy,” commented Tristan Grimbert. “Their participation to directly procure wind power, along with the Production Tax Credit, benefits Americans through manufacturing job creation, energy independence and support to American farmers.”
The agreement with Google to purchase the power from Great Western was first announced in Paris, France in December 2015 as part of Google’s presence at the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21).
“Google has already committed to purchase more renewable energy than any other company and now, through a series of new wind and solar projects around the world, we are on track to reach 100% clean energy for our global operations this year,” said Gary Demasi, Google’s Director of Operations for Data Center Energy and Location Strategy.
EDF RE and Google forged a relationship in December 2012, when Google made an approximately $200 million equity investment in EDF RE’s Spinning Spur Wind Project, located in Oldham County, Texas.
With the addition of Great Western, Google’s renewable energy long-term contracts reach 2.6 gigawatts, making them not only one of the first corporations to procure renewables, but also the largest corporate buyer of renewable power in the world to date. EDF’s North America portfolio of corporate purchasers also includes Procter & Gamble, Salesforce, Microsoft, Yahoo!, Groupo Modelo, and Walmart.
EDF Renewable Services, the leading provider of renewable operations and maintenance services in North America, will provide balance-of-plant operations and maintenance for the facility including 24/7 remote monitoring from its NERC compliant Operations Control Center (OCC). The OCC provides an efficient, reliable, and secure operating platform, while benefiting from the centralization of SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) functions and consolidation of multiple vendor SCADA environments to provide a common operating view. EDF Renewable Services has 10 GW under contract in North America.
EDF Renewable Energy is one of the largest renewable energy developers in North America with 8 gigawatts of wind, solar, storage, biomass, and biogas projects developed throughout the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.