Google makes deal with Nordic wind farm

Source: E&E • Posted: Thursday, June 6, 2013

Tech giant Google Inc. has made two renewable energy deals in one week, one with a 24-turbine wind farm in Sweden and another with a solar power project in South Africa.

Google signed on to a 10-year power purchasing agreement with O2, a Nordic wind farm developer. The tech company will purchase all power created by a 24-turbine farm being built in Sweden, offsetting the energy used at Google’s data center in Finland.

Francois Sterin, senior manager at the company’s global infrastructure team, said the agreement made “financial sense.”

The terms of the agreement have not yet been released, but the deal provided 100 percent of the financing to construct the farm from Allianz, a German financial services company, which will ultimately own the 72-megawatt farm when it begins energy production in 2015. Once it’s completed, O2 will manage the farm.

“As a carbon-neutral company, we’re always looking for ways to increase the amount of renewable energy we use,” said Urs Hölzle, Google’s senior vice president of technical infrastructure. “This long-term agreement, our fourth globally, means we can power our Finnish data center with clean energy — and add new wind generation capacity to the European grid.”

Google’s first African deal in renewable energy occurred six days before. The company agreed to a $12 million investment in solar power in South Africa (Pilita Clark, Financial Times, June 4)