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Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Google inks main new offshore wind deal

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Google introduced its greatest deal but to buy offshore wind power for its knowledge facilities in Europe, signing energy buy agreements to assist two new wind farms off the coast of the Netherlands.

It’s a part of Google’s plan to match all of its knowledge heart electrical energy consumption with clear power technology on a 24/7 foundation by 2030. To do this, the corporate might want to assist get extra renewable power, together with offshore wind, pulsing via energy grids the place it operates. It shared “the following step” of that plan for Europe as we speak, the place it says it’s including greater than 700 megawatts of fresh power capability to the grid.

A lot of that new capability will come from the pair of recent offshore wind farms within the Netherlands, the place Google operates two of its 24 data centers. The facility buy agreements are with the CrossWind and Ecowende consortia, that are joint ventures between power firms Shell and Eneco.

“It’s a part of Google’s plan to match all of its knowledge heart electrical energy consumption with clear power technology on a 24/7 foundation by 2030.”

Together with Google’s earlier energy buy agreements, the corporate says its Dutch knowledge facilities can hit 90 % clear power this 12 months. Google additionally introduced smaller offers to buy renewable power from onshore wind and photo voltaic farms in Italy, Poland, and Belgium.

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Needless to say Google’s plans are to match its electrical energy use with carbon-free power purchases. It’s not as if the info facilities themselves will run solely on renewable power, which makes up round 40 percent of the Netherland’s electrical energy manufacturing.

When tech firms say they run on renewable power, what they often imply is that they’re paying for Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). A renewable power generator can promote RECs for each megawatt-hour of electrical energy {that a} wind farm generates. This income supply is meant to assist the event of recent clear power initiatives.

However the recognition of RECs has led to a conundrum. Tumbling costs for RECs imply they typically don’t herald sufficient cash to incentivize the event of new renewable power initiatives — which may defeat the aim if you happen to aren’t including capability to the grid.

Google and different tech firms together with Microsoft are attempting to beat that downside by committing to buying carbon-free power domestically, hourly. Relatively than matching their electrical energy consumption with renewable power purchases on an annual foundation, they’re committing to paying for renewable power that’s generated close by on the similar time their programs are working. This pushes the native energy grid to extend its capability for producing and storing clear power across the clock.

The offshore wind trade, particularly, may actually use the assist as rising prices have pressured builders to shutter initiatives in Europe and the US, the place Google has essentially the most knowledge facilities.



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