Google Invests $100m in What Will be the World's Largest Wind Farm (845 MW)


Photo: Wikipedia, CC

Searching for Clean Power

Google has been rapidly expanding its clean energy portfolio lately. Just last week we reported the $168m investment in solar thermal, and before that there were multiple investments in wind power, geothermal, etc. Now they're investing $100m more in the Shepherds Flat Wind Farm in oregon. When construction is complete in 2012, it should be the world's largest, beating the Roscoe Wind Farm in Texas (627 turbines, rated at 781.5 MW). Read on for more details.


Photo: Wikipedia, CC

They Know Which Way the Wind Blows

The Shepherds Flat Wind Farm will be rated at 845MW, but with only 338 wind turbines, meaning that each will produce 2.5MW. This is 2x more per unit than the Roscoe Wind Farm's 1.25MW turbines. But size isn't the only benefit:

This will be the first commercial wind farm in the U.S. to deploy, at scale, turbines that use permanent magnet generators--tech-speak for evolutionary turbine technology that will improve efficiency, reliability and grid connection capabilities. Though the technology has been installed outside the U.S., it's an important, incremental step in lowering the cost of wind energy over the long term in the U.S. (source)

Construction on the project is expected to employ 400 people. The main developers are Caithness Energy and GE. Other investors are Sumitomo Corporation of America, a subsidiary of Sumitomo Corporation, and Tyr Energy, a subsidiary of ITOCHU Corporation.


Image: Wikipedia.

Trying to Bring Infrastructure to Internet Time

Google has now invested more than $350 million in clean energy, a huge amount for a company that is generally more preoccupied with building websites than infrastructure.

See also: Google Invests $55 Million in California's Massive 1,550MW Alta Wind Farm

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Tags: Alternative Energy | Google | Oregon | Wind Power