Google strikes deal with a small, Native American-owned firm called Chermac Energy, which is developing the Happy Hereford wind farm outside Amarillo, Texas.
Source: USA Today
Google needs a lot of energy to keep its data centers humming around the world. That can get dirty, environmentally, so the the world’s largest Internet search company is trying to get its power from renewable sources.
The latest effort, announced Tuesday, is a deal with a small, Native American-owned firm called Chermac Energy, which is developing the Happy Hereford wind farm outside Amarillo, Texas.
Google said it agreed to buy the entire 240 megawatt output of the wind farm, which is expected to start producing energy in late 2014.
This is Google’s fifth long-term energy agreement like this and its largest so far. The company has contracts for more than 570 megawatts of wind energy – enough to power about 170,000 houses, it noted.
Google can’t use this energy directly in its data centers, but the company gets credit for the renewable energy and sells it to the wholesale market. That’s a contrast to some other parts of the world. In Sweden, Google said it can buy wind energy and use it in its Hamina, Finland data center.
Data centers use a lot of energy, so sourcing power efficiently gives technology companies an edge. In early 2010, Google got a license to trade energy on the wholesale market, which allows the company to buy in bulk, a useful advantage.