Informatics giant Google has announced what it considers “the largest corporate purchase of renewable energy in history”, consisting of a package of 1,600 MW agreements and including 18 new power offerings, which will increase the firm’s global portfolio based on wind and photovoltaic sources by more than 40% to reach 5.5 GW. It has also announced two grants to finance the development of new purchasing models totaling one million dollars.
From its corporate blog, the company explains that “once all these (contracted) projects go into operation, our carbon-free energy portfolio will produce more electricity than cities like Washington D.C. or entire countries like Lithuania or Uruguay use every year.
These new agreements are said to mean an investment of more than $2 billion in new energy infrastructure, “including millions of solar panels and hundreds of wind turbines spread across three continents. In total, Google claims to manage 52 renewable projects, generating more than 7 billion dollars in new construction and thousands of related jobs.
The 18 new agreements span the globe and include investments in the United States, Chile and Europe.
In the United States, the IT leader will buy power from three solar parks, located in the states of North Carolina (155 MW), South Carolina (75 MW) and Texas (490 MW), which will double the capacity of the global solar portfolio to date.
In Chile, a 125 MW renewable project is being developed to supply the data center. This agreement has the peculiarity that it is the first time that Google buys energy “in a hybrid technology agreement that combines solar and wind energy.
Finally, almost half of the new renewable energy capacity purchased, 793 MW, will be located in Europe, specifically in Finland (255 MW), Sweden (286 MW), Belgium (92 MW) and Denmark (160 MW).
More photovoltaic, cheaper
One element that Google highlights is that “so far, most of our renewable energy purchases in the United States have been wind-powered, but the declining cost of solar energy (more than 80 percent in the last decade) has made harnessing the sun increasingly profitable.
In the same communication, Google announced that it has allocated two grants, 500 thousand dollars for Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA), an alliance of large buyers of renewable energy, in the United States, and 500 thousand euros for the RE-Source platform, similar to the previous one, in Europe. These subsidies, he says, “will help finance the development of new purchasing models, provide training and resources for consumers and allow more widespread access to clean energy.