Google signs with EDF for full output of 201-MW wind project in Oklahoma

Internet search company Google Inc. announced Dec. 3 that it has signed a deal with EDF Renewable Energy (EDF RE) to purchase renewable energy for a data center, with that Power Purchase Agreement to provide Google with the full output of the 201-MW Great Western Wind Project located in Woodward and Ellis counties, Oklahoma.

The project will go into construction in the first quarter of 2016 and be fully operational by the end of the year. The deal was announced in Paris, France, as part of Google’s presence at the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21). This announcement takes Google one step closer to its commitment to triple the purchases of renewable energy by 2025 and eventually powering 100% of its operations with clean energy.

Great Western will be comprised of thirty V117 (unit capacity of 3.3 MW) and fifty one V100 (unit capacity of 2.2 MW) wind turbines supplied by Vestas.

Tristan Grimbert, CEO and President of EDF Renewable Energy, said: “The participation of Google to directly procure wind power demonstrates their understanding of both the environmental benefits of renewable energy as well as the business opportunity. Wind not only emits zero greenhouse gas emissions, but also delivers long-term energy price stability.”

“Google has already committed to purchase more renewable energy than any other company and now, through a series of new wind and solar projects around the world, we’re one step closer to our goal of powering 100% of our operations with clean energy,” said Gary Demasi, Google’s Director of Operations for Data Center Energy and Location Strategy.

This new PPA builds on the relationship forged between the two companies when in December 2012, Google made an approximately $200 million equity investment in EDF RE’s Spinning Spur Wind Project, a 161-MW facility located in Oldham County, Texas. Google is already the largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy in the world and the Great Western Wind Project adds to the company’s long-term contracts to buy green electricity from wind generation bringing the total portfolio of renewables to nearly 2 GW.

EDF Renewable Energy is a leading U.S. independent power producer with more than 25 years of expertise in the renewable industry, covering all range of services from project development, management to operations and maintenance. EDF Renewable Energy’s North American portfolio consists of 6 GW of developed projects with 3.2 GW of installed capacity throughout the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.

In a recent example of another Google-backed project, Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) said Nov. 24 that under the Green Source Rider program of subsidiary Duke Energy Carolinas, Google will meet a portion of the power demand from a data center with solar energy. A 61-MW solar project to meet this need will be constructed in Rutherford County, N.C., in Duke Energy Carolinas’ service territory. Under a power purchase agreement with the Rutherford Farms LLC solar project, Duke Energy will secure power to meet the need of Google’s expanded data center.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.