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Google Signs Wind Contract to Sustain Data Center Power with Renewable Energy
One of the reasons we use “Google (News - Alert)” as a verb is the powerful information it sends back for every query entered. The power to gather so much information in such a short amount of time requires significant server capabilities. As such, Google is responsible for consuming a considerable amount of data center power and therefore has a responsibility to search for greener pastures.
According to a post in Data Center Dynamics, the search giant is purchasing all of the power a 240MW wind farm located outside of Amarillo, Texas is projected to generate. A renewable energy source, the wind farm is expected to indirectly power the company’s data center located in Mayes, Oklahoma.
This move is not only good for renewable energy; it’s also good for the environment. It demonstrates the value Google can bring to the table in terms of identifying new sources for data center power. The company has stated that it is working toward 100 percent reliance on renewable energy for its data centers.
Current regulations prevent Google from legally consuming power generated by a plant. Instead, Google enters into long-term power purchase agreements with the plant developer. This generates the necessary funding to build a new plant project. Once a plant is in operation, Google gains access to renewable energy credits (RECs) as a result of the energy it creates and then sells the energy on the wholesale market.
Google, or any other company like it with a similar agreement, can still contract for the regular grid power from the provider that is serving that particular market as long as the agreement is in place. It can also apply the RECs to its own operations when the surrounding variables deem it necessary or beneficial.
This latest announcement is an agreement between Google and Chermac Energy, a wind farm owned by a Native American developer. It is the fifth agreement for Google and is expected to come online in late 2014. At that point, the company plans to start funneling energy for data center power into its Southwest Power Pool that serves its Oklahoma facility.
An innovative company focused on preserving the environment, Google often touts the importance of renewable energy. This latest announcement demonstrates that the company not only talks the talk, but also walks the walk. Such a measure is important considering the massive amounts of data center power the company consumes and its impact on the culture as a whole.If every company that ever wanted to duplicate Google’s success at least duplicated their approach to renewable energy, we’ll be well on our way to long-term sustainability.
Edited by Rachel Ramsey
Data Center Power Resources
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