Google, which only competes with Facebook for the title of the world's largest renewable energy company, today announced another major renewable energy investment round, claiming it to be "the largest renewable energy business acquisition in history." The company said it had completed 18 new energy contracts, which together will generate 1,600 MW of renewable electricity.
Over the past two years, the company has purchased more electricity from renewable resources than it consumes centers and offices worldwide. However, due to the complicated logistics of energy procurement, much of the energy that drives Google and its parent alphabet is not renewable. Changing that is an extremely difficult undertaking that the company has been working on for at least three years.
"To maximize impact, all of our recent deals meet the stringent additionality criteria we set for our energy purchases a long time ago," said Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google Blog released today. "This means that we do not buy electricity from existing wind and solar farms, but make long-term purchase commitments that lead to the development of new projects, and the injection of incremental renewable energy into the grids where we consume energy is a crucial component to to achieve this. " 24×7 carbon-free energy for all our operations.
The new contracts cover the globe and include facilities in the US, Chile and Europe Capacity to increase Google's global wind and solar portfolio by more than 40 percent to 5,500 MW, equivalent to one million solar panels and enough power to power Washington, DC, or the countries of Lithuania or Uruguay.
In the US, the contracts add 720 MW of solar power to Texas and the two Carolinas, doubling the capacity of Google's current global solar portfolio, and generating 125MW of renewable energy in South America Net fed to its data center in Chile Details on new facilities in Europe will be released on Friday.
"This Renewable energy purchases are not only remarkable for their size, "said Pichai. "So far, most US renewable energy purchases have been made by wind power, but the declining cost of solar energy (which has dropped more than 80 percent in the last decade) has enabled us to use the sun more and more cheaply For the first time we buy electricity in a hybrid technology deal that combines sun and wind, and Chile's deal with wind blowing at times other than the sun, we can combine our Chilean data center with CO2-free electricity for a larger part of the day. "
Google also announced two new grants to organizations working to expand the availability of renewable energy for commercial enterprises.
"We will provide a US $ 500,000 grant to the US Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance and a $ 200,000 RE-Source grant in Europe," Pichai said. "These grants will help finance the development of new purchasing models, provide training and resources for consumers, and enable greater access to clean electricity."