Google - Smart Energy Decisions

Commercial, Finance, Industrial, Regulation, Sourcing Renewables, Wind  -  July 1, 2016

Google signs PPA for additional European wind energy to power data centers

Already a leader in wind energy procurement, Google on June 29 said it agreed to purchase, for 12 years, the entire electric output of a 120-MW wind farm to be built in Norway. 

Through a power purchase agreement — Google's first in Norway — the company plans to use the generation to help power its European data centers. 

"These new Nordic power purchase agreements complement our three other Swedish wind deals and enable us to power even more of our European operations with renewable energy," Marc Oman, EU Energy Lead, Google Global Infrastructure said in a statement on the company's Green Blog.  "As with our other power purchase agreements, we're buying the entire production of these new wind farms, situated in two great areas for onshore wind in Europe." 

In a joint news release with the projects' developers and BlackRock, which is providing the equity financing for the Norway wind project, Google said the Norway wind farm marks the company's 17th global agreement to procure renewable energy for its data centers. 

The cross-border arrangement is possible through what Google characterized as Europe's "increasingly integrated energy market," and in particular, Scandinavia's Nord Pool market, which allows Google to buy renewable energy with Guarantee of Origin certification in Norway, and consume an equivalent amount of power elsewhere in Europe.

Zephyr and Norsk Vind Energi, two leading Norwegian wind farm developers and operators,
are set to begin construction of the new wind farm immediately. The 50-turbine project has already received all of the relevant planning approvals and permits; once completed in 2017, it will be the largest wind farm ever built in Norway, according to the companies' June 30 news release. 

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