Here’s a win for Oklahoma’s wind-energy industry, which has been battered by layoffs and uncertainty surrounding that soon-to-expire federal tax credit.
Google has inked a deal with the Grand River Dam Authority to buy wind power from the Canadian Hills Wind Farm in central Oklahoma.
Gary Demasi, director of the search giant’s global infrastructure team writes about the wind deal on Google’s corporate blog:
In conjunction with the electricity GRDA already supplies Google to operate its data center, Google will pay GRDA a premium to purchase renewable energy generated by Canadian Hills. This brings the total amount of renewable energy for which Google has contracted to over 260 MW.
The deal is significant because it “shows how large customers like Google can play a role in promoting renewable energy by local utilities,” Greenpeace’s Gary Cook tells datacenterknowledge.com’s Rich Miller:
“Google faced a local grid mix of over 50 percent coal power for its Oklahoma data center. But as a major electricity customer in the state, Google worked with its local utility to secure a significant new supply of renewable wind energy.”
Operations at the data center started in 2011, reports The Oklahoman‘s Paul Monies, and GRDA officials approached Google about using the wind farm’s power in February 2012:
The 300-megawatt wind farm is expected to be complete by the end of the year and will be Oklahoma’s largest wind farm with 135 turbines.