Google Continues To Bet Big On Clean Energy

Google has invested US$75 million in a wind farm in Texas, marking the global tech leader’s 15th renewable energy investment.

The wind farm, Pattern Energy’s Panhandle 2, is located in Carson County. Once up and running by the end of 2014, the 183 megawatt farm could power around 56,000 homes in Texas.

Google’s move is part of its wider sustainability strategy and ambitious aim to become completely powered by renewable energy.

texas wind pattern

image via Shutterstock

Nick Coons, Principal, Renewable Energy, Google, wrote on the company’s official blog: “It sure is windy in Texas. So windy, in fact, that we’ve made another wind energy investment there. […] In addition to these two projects, we’re also buying Texas wind from the Happy Hereford wind farm as part of our goal of operating on 100% renewable energy. These efforts reflect our long-standing commitment to renewable energy as both an investor and a consumer.”

As Google’s 15th investment in renewable energy, the wind farm joins a powerful green portfolio. By the end of 2012, Google’s renewable energy investments had already totalled an amount that could feasibly generate over 2 gigawatts.

It is also Google’s second renewables investment in Texas. In 2013, Google invested US$200 million in another wind farm in the state, developed by EDF Renewable Energy.

But while these investments seem bold, Google’s biggest ever clean tech investment happened [recently], when it acquired home energy-use system company Nest for US$3.2 billion.

theclimate-groupEditor’s Note: EarthTechling is proud to repost this article courtesy of The Climate Group. Author credit goes to Clare Saxon.

The Climate Group is an independent, not-for-profit organization working to inspire and catalyze leadership for a Clean Revolution: a low carbon future that is smarter, better and more prosperous. For all.

    • Peter Moss

      operating on 100% renewable energy

      Will they really be operating on 100% renewable energy or just using renewable energy certificates equal to their energy use? They really aren’t the same thing since using certificates they will still actually be using energy from fossil fuel.

      • Pete D

        Well, no, Google hasn’t unplugged from the grid to ensure that every watt of power that flows to it is produced from renewable source. That would be a tad unrealistic. But it does far more than use renewable energy certificates. One, it enters into power purchase agreements to buy renewable energy — a direct factor in ensuring that renewable power plants are built (a PPA in hand is a key to a developer getting financing and thus getting the plant built). Two, as this article about its 15th major renewable energy investment details, it invests directly — that is, it builds renewable power plants. I highly recommend the following article to learn more about how Google is pushing to actually get more renewable energy infrastructure built: http://www.earthtechling.com/2013/05/google-uses-influence-to-nudge-clean-energy-forward/

    • Peebles Squire

      This is great news for Google, a company that has shown it
      understands the value in investing in America’s energy future with
      clean, renewable wind power.

      The more than 60 gigawatts of wind capacity in place at the end of
      2012 reduce carbon dioxide emissions by about 100 million tons per year.
      Add the fact that wind power emits no pollution whatsoever and uses no
      fuel, and you have a recipe for proven, near limitless energy in a
      region that has embraced wind power as an important contributor to the
      economy.

      Wind power supports 80,000 jobs across the country, and through its
      investment in Texas wind power, Google is acknowledging the importance
      of diversifying the grid, stimulating innovation, and promoting an
      energy landscape that is both economically and environmentally sound.

      Peebles Squire
      American Wind Energy Association

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