Google to power data centre with green wind energy

Google has signed an agreement with the Grand River Dam Authority (GRDA) to supply its Mayes Country, Oklahoma data centre with 48 megawatts of wind energy from the Canadian Hills Wind Project in Oklahoma in the United States.

“This agreement… is a milestone for Google because it’s a little different from the previous power purchase agreements (PPAs) we’ve signed, where we agreed to buy the energy directly from the developer who built the wind farm,” Google director of Global Infrastructure team, Gary Demasi wrote on the Official Google Blog.

“This agreement, by contrast, marks the first time we’ve partnered with a utility provider to increase the amount of renewable energy powering one of our data centres.”

Google will pay GRDA a premium to buy the renewable energy generated from Canadian Hills Wind project when it goes live later this year, which will bring its total renewable energy footprint to 260 megawatts.

Google also released a report this month showing its global power usage effectiveness (PUE) for its data centres this year dropped to its lowest yet, with cooling and other overhead energy to have reduced to just 13 per cent.

In November last year, Google decided to give up on its Renewable Energy Cheaper than Coal initiative because it believes “other institutions are better positioned than Google to take this research to the next level”.

Google said at the time that the company will no longer continue its research in improving solar power technology, but it will still continue working towards running its data centres more efficiently and will invest more than $850 million in renewable energy technologies.

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