Google moves step closer to 100% renewable energy goal


Google moves step closer to 100% renewable energy goal
Google has signed its largest power purchase agreement to date as part of its quest to power its operations by 100% renewable energy.

The agreement will see the tech giant purchase the entire output of the 240 MW Happy Hereford wind farm on the outskirts of Amarillo, Texas. According to a Google blog post the deal represents the company’s fifth long-term agreement and brings its total contracted wind energy to more than 570 MW, enough to energy to power around 170, 000 US homes.

The Happy Hereford wind farm, developed by Chermac Energy, is expected to start producing energy in late 2014. Google won’t consume the energy directly; instead it will provide energy to the Southwest Power Pool (SPP), the regional grid that serves its Mayes County, Okla. data center.

After purchasing the renewable energy, it says it will retire the renewable energy credits (RECs) and sell the energy itself to the wholesale market. Any additional RECs produced under the agreement will be used to reduce its carbon footprint elsewhere.

Earlier this year Google announced that it was partnering with US electricity generator, Duke Energy, to implement a plan that could boost the development and uptake of renewable energy including solar and wind power. Under the plan utilities would offer those companies who were willing to pay for it the choice to buy green electricity under a ‘renewable energy tariff’. A key element of the tariff is that the costs of procuring the renewable power would be passed on to the customer that opted for it, avoiding any impact on other customers.