Google Getting Greener Every Day

Running the Internet giant Google requires a lot of electricity. Industry experts claim its 13 data centers continuously draw 260 million watts. An estimated billion searches a day alone consume 12.5 million watts. 

Offsetting this huge consumption, Google has cash reserves exceeding $50 billion and is investing heavily in renewable energy, adding to a billion-dollar portfolio of green power.

The company recently announced its 14th investment in renewable energy through a partnership with the investment firm KKR to build six utility-scale solar facilities in California and Arizona. Google will invest approximately $80 million in these projects, which are being developed by Recurrent Energy. The projects will have a combined capacity of 106 megawatts (MW) and generate enough electricity to power more than 17,000 U.S. homes. 

In 2013, Google also made a $103 million commitment to Mount Signal Solar, a 265.7-MW solar photovoltaic plant in Imperial County, Calif., and made its first investment in Africa, $12 million in the Jasper Power Project, a 94-MW solar photovoltaic plant in South Africa’s Northern Cape province. 

In 2012, Google made an equity 
investment of $75 million in a small 
wind farm in Iowa and $200 million in one in Texas. 

In 2011, there was a host of green investments: $94 million in four solar facilities near Sacramento, Calif.; $75 million in a fund to help California homeowners go solar; $280 million to create a fund to help finance solar installations across the country; $168 million in a concentrated photovoltaic project in the Mojave Desert; $157 million in Alta Wind Center in the Tehachapi Mountains in Southern California; $100 million in the Shepherds Farm Wind Park in Arlington, Ore.; and $5 million in a photovoltaic plant in Germany.

In 2010, Google made a $38.8 million investment in two North Dakota wind farms and, showing “green diversity,’” bought a 37.5 percent equity stake in the Atlantic Wind Connection, an offshore grid project intended to support offshore wind turbines.

These investments are all part of Google’s strategy of building a clean-
energy future where renewable energy is abundant, accessible and affordable. 

Google claims its ownership in renewable power generation currently amounts to more than 2 gigawatts, the equivalent of the power output of the Hoover Dam. Furthermore, recent investments have pushed the company’s renewable power generation even higher.

About the Author

Mike Breslin

Freelance Writer

Mike Breslin is a freelance writer based in New Jersey. He has 30-years experience writing for newspapers, magazines, multimedia and video production companies with concentration on business, energy, environmental and technical subjects. Mike is...

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