Google, Inc. announced recently that it has signed a deal with EDF Renewable Energy (EDF RE) to purchase renewable energy for its data center. The Power Purchase Agreement will provide Google with the full output of the 201 megawatt (MW) Great Western Wind Project (Project) located in Woodward and Ellis counties near the base of the Oklahoma panhandle. The Project will commence construction in the first quarter of 2016 and be fully operational by end of the year.
The deal was announced in Paris, France as part of Google’s presence at the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21). Today’s announcement takes Google one step closer to their commitment to triple the purchases of renewable energy by 2025 and eventually powering 100% of its operations with clean energy. One of the key actions on the ambitious journey to rely more on renewable energy is to partner with EDF RE to build the Great Western Wind project and place more clean energy on the grid.
Great Western will be comprised of 30 V117 (unit capacity of 3.3 MW) and 51 V100 (unit capacity of 2.2 MW) wind turbines supplied by Vestas. The amount of power generated will be equivalent to avoiding more than 600,000 metric tons of CO₂ emissions annually1. This is equivalent to the emissions of 125,000 passenger vehicles driven over the course of one year.Tristan Grimbert, CEO and President of EDF Renewable Energy states, “The participation of Google to directly procure wind power demonstrates their understanding of both the environmental benefits of renewable energy as well as the business opportunity. Wind not only emits zero greenhouse gas emissions, but also delivers long-term energy price stability.” He further adds, “We applaud their leadership in action around the climate change conversation and providing the financial certainty through the Power Purchase Agreement to remove a key barrier to building a wind project.”
“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’re one step closer to our goal of powering 100% of our operations with clean energy,” said Gary Demasi, Google’s Director of Operations for Data Center Energy and Location Strategy.Google joins EDF’s growing North America portfolio of corporate purchasers including Procter & Gamble, Microsoft, Yahoo!, Groupo Modelo, and Walmart.
This new PPA builds on the relationship forged between the two companies when in December 2012, Google made an approximately $200 million equity investment in EDF RE’s Spinning Spur Wind Project, a 161 megawatt facility located in Oldham County, Texas demonstrating that corporations can serve as a new source of capital for the renewable energy sector.Google is already the largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy in the world and the Great Western Wind Project adds to the Company’s long-term contracts to buy green electricity from wind generation bringing the total portfolio of renewables to nearly 2 gigawatts.