Google Buys 20 Years' Worth Of Wind Energy To Power Data Centers

Hot on the heels of its $38.8 billion investment in two wind farms in North Dakota, Google has just signed a 20-year contract with an Iowa wind farm that enables the search giant to purchase wind power at a set rate over the next two decades.

The energy from the NextEra Energy Resources wind farm will be sufficient to power "several data centers," Google wrote on its blog.
In 2007, Google announced its intention to become carbon neutral by the end of the year.

The deal is the first for Google Energy, a subsidiary of the company that received federal approval to trade energy on the open market.

In addition to wind power, Google has also taken advantage of corporate solar installations at its Mountain View headquarters.

Google announced the energy deal on its company blog, explaining:

By contracting to purchase so much energy for so long, we're giving the developer of the wind farm financial certainty to build additional clean energy projects. The inability of renewable energy developers to obtain financing has been a significant inhibitor to the expansion of renewable energy. We've been excited about this deal because taking 114 megawatts of wind power off the market for so long means producers have the incentive and means to build more renewable energy capacity for other customers.

How much energy does Google use? A recent report from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) puts things in perspective--the researchers found that "a single Google search requires half a milliliter of water in energy, and therefore the 300 million searches worldwide, each day require 150,000 liters of water to produce the required electrical power."

What do you think of Google's wind power purchase? Tell us in the comments below.