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December 3, 2015

Google bets on green data centres in biggest renewable energy buy

News: Firm plans to power 842MW of green energy into six data centres.

By Joao Lima

Alphabet’s Google has detailed plans to power its data centres with green energy sources including wind and solar.

The announcement has been made today at the COP21 summit in Paris.

The tech giant is planning to cover up to 842MW of power across its data centres in the US (four sites), Chile and Sweden.

The six projects related to the venture are expected to be concluded by 2017. The company has not disclosed how much it will invest in this power shift.

It will provide 61MW of solar energy to one of its US data centres, 200MW of wind power to other two hubs in the US, 225MW of wind power to a fourth American site, 80MW of solar to its Chilean data centre, and 76MW of wind to its Swedish hub.

Google has also revealed it has invested nearly $2.5 billion in companies and projects to produce extra wind, solar and geothermal power.

The company has plans to use renewable energy to power its data centres with 3.6GW by 2025. The company has now signed contracts to cover 2GW as part of its plan.

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The company has the intention to make all its 14 data centres worldwide ‘green’. Currently, 37% of the energy used to power these comes from renewable sources.

Urs Hölzle, Google’s SVP of technical infrastructure, said: "Our goal is to help drive renewable energy development both as a customer and as an investor, and bring down costs for everyone.

"These long-term contracts range from 10-20 years and provide projects with the financial certainty and scale necessary to build these wind and solar facilities — thus bringing new renewable energy onto the grid in these regions.

"For our part, these contracts not only help minimise the environmental impact of our services — they also make good business sense by ensuring good prices."


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