Google has announced the purchase of a $75 million equity stake in a 20-turbine, 50-megawatt wind farm in Iowa. This brings the company’s renewable energy investments very close to 1 billion dollars, a big step up from the $350 million they were at in April 2011.
In 2010, Google entered into a long-term contract with NextEra Energy Resources’ Story County II wind farm with the agreement to purchase wind energy for the local data center. The new wind project will send all of its energy to the Central Iowa Power Cooperative, an Iowa-based utility that provides energy to local consumers.
Here are a few of Google’s renewable energy investments that have brought the Internet giant close to $1 billion:
- Wind energy to power an Oklahoma data center.
- Four photovoltaic solar energy projects in Sacramento, California.
- $280 million investment in solar residential rooftop installations.
- $178 million investment in BrightSource, to go toward the Ivanpah power tower solar project in the Mojave Desert.
Part of Google’s incentive to invest in renewable energy is for significant returns that will eventually come. This is also likely to encourage other businesses to make the invest in clean energy and reap similar benefits. The company’s goal is to have one-third of its power coming from renewables, but at this rate it might not be long before Google is able to reach 100% clean energy.