Thursday, 27 November 2014

Google Signs Long-Term Deal for Wind Power

When Google flips the switch on their brand-new data centre in Delfzijl, Netherlands, it will be powered entirely by renewable energy generated by local power providers.  Some of that power will come from a new wind farm now being constructed by Dutch energy company Eneco.  Google and Eneco just signed a 10-year agreement that will see the search engine giant purchase all of the energy produced by the wind farm through until 2026.

Google is building the new data centre near the port of Eemshaven, on the Netherlands' north coast.  It chose the location due to it being the site of a major fibre-optic cable providing data services to the region.  The area is also home to a number of significant energy providers capable of generating the power Google will need for the facility… and it will certainly need a lot.

The data centre will be large enough to cover an area greater than 40 football pitches.  Within its walls will be tens of thousands of servers providing hosting and collocation for companies all over Europe.  A data centre of this size will require a tremendous amount of power for running the servers and keeping the entire building cool.  Google will use all of the 62 MW generated by the Eneco wind farm… and then some.  For their part, Eneco says construction of the wind farm will provide approximately 80 local jobs for a year and a half.

Signing the deal with Eneco is just the latest in Google's ongoing efforts to use more renewable energy.  In addition to the Eneco agreement, the company has also signed power purchase agreements (PPAs) with two other companies in Europe.  What's more, it has now signed a total of eight power agreements around the globe enabling it to purchase renewable energy.  Google is clearly committed to adopting a green strategy for its new data centre operations.

A Boost to the Industry

By signing renewable energy agreements with companies such as Eneco, Google is doing more than just helping local environments and keeping its own energy bills and check.  The company is also providing a much-needed boost to the renewable energy industry. Keep in mind that renewables are an expensive proposition requiring the promise of payback before companies are willing to invest large sums of money.

Every time a company such as Google signs a PPA, they enable renewable energy companies to design and build the architecture necessary to make renewable energy profitable and efficient.  In this case specifically, Eneco has the incentive to put the time and money into the new wind farm because that company is guaranteed all of the power will be purchased.  If the wind farm proves successful in meeting Google's needs, and we have no doubt that it will, Eneco will be encouraged to build more wind farms for other customers.

We are getting closer to the day when the data centre industry will be relying almost exclusively on renewable energy sources.  That day cannot come soon enough...


No comments:

Post a Comment