Google Invests in Wind Energy to Offset Environmental Impact of Oklahoma Data Center

Google has invested in a wind farm in Oklahoma to help offset the environmental impact of one of its data centers.

By Ainsley Jones | Posted Apr 22, 2011
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Google, through subsidiary Google Energy, has announced plans to purchase all of the energy from NextEra Energy Resources' Minco II wind facility in Oklahoma for the next 20 years. While Google will not be able to directly use the wind power generated at the wind farm at the data center it is building in Pryor, Okla., the purchase will effectively offset the impact of the yet-to-be-built facility on the local power grid, says Data Center Knowledge.

Google Energy's latest deal is similar to a previous agreement it made with NextEra to purchase 114 megawats of wind energy from the company's facility in Iowa to offset some of its carbon emissions. The purchase is another step in Google's effort to become a carbon-neutral company. Writing on the Official Google Blog, Gary Demasi, a member of Google's global infrastructure team, said: 

These purchases represent long-term, meaningful actions to reduce our carbon footprint and power our operations with clean electricity.

Likewise, NextEra is excited about the project, NewsOK.com reports. Mike O'Sullivan, senior vice president of development for NextEra Energy Resources, noted:

We are thrilled to expand our relationship with Google Energy and appreciate their ongoing support of emission-free, renewable energy. With the support of customers like Google Energy, we've built our wind fleet from fewer than 500 megawatts a decade ago to nearly 8,300 megawatts — the largest fleet in North America today.

Google has also published a white paper that explains its use of renewable energy purchases with the hopes of making it easier for other companies to follow suit on similar efforts.
 

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