Google Powers Up with Iowa, Oklahoma, and South Dakota Wind Energy

by Hanna Hunt – AWEABlog

Never one for small acts, Google recently announced that it will be buying a massive combined 536 megawatts (MW) of new wind capacity from four U.S. wind farms. Here are the details on Google’s latest deals:

  • One 200 MW power purchase agreement (PPA) signed with EDF Renewable Energy for the entire output of the planned Glaciers Edge wind farm in Iowa
  • Two 98 MW PPAs signed with Avangrid Renewables for the entire output of the planned Coyote Ridge and Tatanka Ridge wind farms in South Dakota
  • One 140 MW PPA signed with Grand River Dam Authority (GRDA) for output from Enel Green Power North America’s 300 MW planned Red Dirt wind farm in Oklahoma

Google is a global leader in renewable energy procurement, announcing last yearthat it would be powered by 100 percent renewables by the end of 2017. What’s most impressive about this news? Ninety-five percent of that will come from wind. And prior to yesterday’s announcements, Google had already signed agreements to purchase a total of 1,800 MW of U.S. wind energy.

Gary Demasi, Google’s director of global infrastructure, explained why wind energy represents a low-risk, high-value investment for Google: “Renewables from projects like [these] bring value to our business as we scale and accelerate investment in the communities where we operate … with solar and wind declining dramatically in cost and propelling significant employment growth, the transition to clean energy is driving unprecedented economic opportunity and doing so faster than we ever anticipated.”

And Google’s not alone. In total, corporate and other non-utility customers have signed approximately 7,000 MW of PPAs for U.S. wind power to date. Early leaders, which included Google and other high tech companies, are now being joined by a diverse range of retailers and household brands. For example, four companies, including Anheuser-Busch, Cummins, JPMorgan Chase, and Kimberly Clark, all signing PPAs for the first time last quarter.

Interested in learning more about the Fortune 500 companies and other non-utility customers investing in wind? Dive into our new interactive map below. The map includes all publicly announced non-utility wind PPAs at least 20 MW in size.

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