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Part of Google's Goal of Being Carbon-NeutralGoogle Energy, a subsidiary of Google that was created to give the company the ability to buy power on the wholesale market, has just inked a 20-year deal to buy 114 megawatts of power from the NextEra Energy Resources Story County II wind farm in Iowa. This is just one of many approaches that Google takes to try to become a carbon-neutral company. Read on for more details.
First, we minimize our energy consumption; in fact, we've built some of the world's most energy efficient data centers. Second, we seek to power our facilities with renewable energy, like we did in Mountain View, CA with one of the largest corporate solar installations. Finally, we purchase carbon offsets for the emissions we cannot directly eliminate. [...]I hope that this will encourage other big technology companies to do the same and purchase lots of clean energy on long term contracts. This can help solidify the financial foundation of many renewable energy projects, and it's good PR for those companies.
By contracting to purchase so much energy for so long, we're giving the developer of the wind farm financial certainty to build additional clean energy projects. The inability of renewable energy developers to obtain financing has been a significant inhibitor to the expansion of renewable energy. We've been excited about this deal because taking 114 megawatts of wind power off the market for so long means producers have the incentive and means to build more renewable energy capacity for other customers. (source)
The Google Energy contract takes effect on July 30, 2010.