Good Move! Google Invests $38.8 Million in Two North Dakota Wind Farms

google wind power north dakota photo

Photo: Flickr, CC & Google
169.5 Megawatts of Combined Capacity
Google has stopped being only about internet services such as search and email a while ago, but so far, most of its investments in renewable energy were directed at R&D; and startups, not at more mature clean energy sources. This is changing: the search giant has decided to invest its pocket change into two wind farms located in North Dakota.
"We're aiming to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy--in a way that makes good business sense, too," wrote Rick Needham, Google's green business operations manager.

Google's stakes in the wind farms are in the form of "tax equity" investments, in which investors take over a project and use federal tax credits granted to the project to offset their own taxes as a return. [...]

The projects include a 120-megawatt wind farm in Barnes County, N.D., called Ashtabula 2, and a 49.5-megawatt wind facility called Wilton Wind 2, in Burleigh County, N.D. (source)

The power produced by the wind farms will not be used to power Google's data centers directly, but that doesn't really matter too much. When it comes to air pollution and global warming, all that matters to the atmosphere is that dirty sources go away and clean ones replace them.

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