Google announced on Tuesday that it has signed agreements with O2 and Allianz, which will will power its Finnish data center with renewable energy for the next ten years. This marks Google’s fourth long-term agreement for renewable energy powering its data centers. It’s the first such deal in Europe.
Google has committed over $1 billion to renewable energy projects in the U.S., Germany, and in South Africa. The company says it will continue to look for more opportunities in different parts of the world.
“O2, the wind farm developer, has obtained planning approval to build a new 72MW wind farm at Maevaara, in Övertorneå and Pajala municipality in northern Sweden, using highly efficient 3MW wind turbines,” explains Francois Sterin, Senior Manager of Google’s Global Infrastructure Team. “We’ve committed to buying the entire output of that wind farm for 10 years so that we can power our Finnish data center with renewable energy. That agreement has helped O2 to secure 100% financing for the construction of the wind farm from the investment arm of German insurance company Allianz, which will assume ownership when the wind farm becomes operational in early 2015.”
“This arrangement is possible thanks to Scandinavia’s integrated electricity market and grid system, Nord Pool,” adds Sterin. “It enables us to buy the wind farm’s output in Sweden with Guarantee of Origin certification and consume an equivalent amount of power at our data center in Finland. We then “retire” the Guarantee of Origin certificates to show that we’ve actually used the energy.”
Google says that as a carbon netural company, its goal is to use as much renewable energy as possible.