Google expands wind energy use; Sharp focuses on solar

E&E • Posted: Friday, September 28, 2012

Google Inc. yesterday agreed to buy wind energy for its Oklahoma data center from the Canadian Hills wind power project.

The Internet giant plans to pay a premium to purchase 48 megawatts of wind energy from Canadian Hills in addition to the electricity it already receives from local utility Grand River Dam Authority. The company has been working with the utility to get more renewable energy resources since last year, the company said in a statement.

The purchase would bring the total amount of renewable energy Google has contracted to more than 260 MW (Scott DiSavino, Reuters, Sept. 26).

Meanwhile, electronics group Sharp plans to shift its focus away from television and toward solar energy.

According to sources, the company plans to withdraw production of photovoltaic modules in the United States and Europe and will concentrate on production in Japan.

Last year, the company’s revenue from solar cells fell by 16 percent, while the entire division experienced an operating loss. But the company says it remains committed to solar energy. It plans to cash in on demand in Japan, where many are calling for more renewable energy following last year’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident.

The shift is meant to help the struggling company, which has lost revenue as it experiences big losses from its television sector (Jonathan Soble, Financial Times [subscription required], Sept. 27). — JE