Google finds (part of) the answer blowin’ in the wind
It’s a wind developer’s dream – a 20 year contract to supply renewable electricity to a global brand name. From 30th July NextEra Energy Resources will be supplying Google with 114 megawatts of electricity from its wind farms in Iowa, USA. For Google the deal makes good sense as well good PR. By purchasing electricity at a predetermined rate the company buys protection from anticipated price rises as well as contributing to its stated goal of becoming ‘carbon neutral’. More deals between the I.T and R.E sectors look likely in the near future.
Google will use Google Energy LLC, which it set up last year, to buy renewable energy directly from the wind farm then sell it back to the grid on the regional spot market. By retiring the Renewable Energy Certificates (RECS) associated with the power it intends to create an incentive for the production of more renewable electricity.
Google uses thousands of servers housed in data centres, often in remote locations around the world. The electrical and cooling loads for data centres are known to be very large. And getting sufficient power to a site is known to be one of the limitations to their size. The renewable energy contract has been described as supplying ‘several’ of these data centres. Though Google says it’s working to reduce consumption from these centres as yet they don’t appear to have found a use for the very large quantities of waste heat they produce – something not aided by their remote locations.
How much CO2 is emitted as a result of one google search? Google say it’s 0.2g, other research puts the figure between 1g and 10g. By comparison it is estimated that making a white tea or coffee emits 53g.
Posted: 30th July 2010.
Tags: Renewable energy, I.T.
Further information: http://www.google.com/corporate/green/index.html