We’ve written before about the immense dedication Silicon Valley has to renewable energy, and the projects going on around the world to achieve those goals.
It should come as no surprise then, that Google’s dedication to clean energy is so immense that they are purchasing vast amounts of it, and have set a goal to use 100% clean energy to power their data centers by 2025. To achieve this goal the company isn’t only just purchasing renewable energy, but also investing in projects to produce more of it. By using and producing renewable power Google is paving the way for a brighter future.
Their money speaks volumes
Google has signed contracts to purchase over 2.2 GW of renewable energy. That amount of juice is equivalent to taking over 1 million cars off the road. This makes Google the largest corporate renewable energy purchaser in the world. They have also invested in the largest corporate solar panel installation in the world, generating 1.9 MW. This is enough to power the buildings they sit on at 30% capacity during peak load times.
Off site, Google is continuing their commitment with a pledged $2.5 billion in funding for renewable energy projects. This includes a variety of wind and solar endeavors in Kansas, Oklahoma, Utah, Texas, Arizona, California, and across the western states.
Any non-renewable energy is matched
Right now Google can’t be directly powered by renewable energy. Gmail, Youtube, and countless other applications need to be running 24 hours a day, so their data centers need to stay linked to the power grid. As you can’t specify the origin of the energy you’re taking from the grid, Google has been working on a solution.
Google purchases, on an annual basis, the same volume (MWh) of renewable energy as the volume of MWh of energy that we consume for our operations. – The Google Green Blog
Google also gets around this issue by tapping into grids that are more heavily sourced from renewable locations. Their utility in Iowa, MidAmerican Energy, has energy generation that is made up of 40% wind power. Similar to this, the energy provider to Google’s Finland data center purchases clean energy from Sweden, but is also linked to the Nordpool regional electricity grid to provide constant power.
There’s no sign of slowing down
The company has been recognized by a number of organizations for their green efforts including Greenpeace, The Associated Press, and the Environmental Protection Agency who awarded them the Green Power Leadership Award in 2011 and 2014.
Talking about sustainability is a popular marketing tool, but Google has made renewable energy and environmental protection part of both its corporate identity and its operations in a way that is unique in corporate America – Associated Press
As more and more of their data centers and facilities are powered by renewable resources, the company will continue to enter in long term contracts (usually around 20 years) to minimize their carbon footprint.
Want to see how much of your electricity comes from renewable resources? All you need is your zip code and this power profiler to find out!
Leave a Reply