After years of investment in clean power energy projects across the United States, Google has finally announced the purchase of their own first ever wind turbine to power one of their data centers in Oklahoma.
The choice of this particular data center was carefully thought through. Since its construction, Google has invested exceptionally large sum in order to ensure that the energy used for powering this center is generated by wind power.
The Grand River Dam Authority (GRDA) approached the supplier- Canadian Hills Wind Project, in order to sell 48MW of wind energy to Google. GRDA proudly announces that this is their very first clean power project, pointing out that very few power customers are willing to invest more but receive clean energy.
Considering that at least half of Oklahoma’s power grid is run on coal (as Greenpeace points out), this move is a revelation in the way massive computer companies think and operate. What is usually observed and unfortunately expected from such businesses is that the location of their centers would be primarily determined by the cheap and reliable power sources such as fossil fuels or hydropower.
Let’s hope that more companies will follow Google’s example and such news will start appearing more frequently. It will be interesting to monitor the development of clean energy projects initiated by Apple and Ebay. The former have contracted the developer SunPower to construct a solar power panel as well as bio-gas fuel cell farms near a large data center in North Carolina. Ebay is also known to be investing in a fuel cell farm near a data center. Thumbs up and hopefully we will read about the completion of these projects in the very near future.