Green Google: Web giant invests $200 million in Texas wind farm

green google web giant invests 200 million in texas wind farmGoogle announced on Wednesday it’s increasing its stake in renewable energy projects with a $200 million equity investment in a west Texas wind farm.

Generating enough energy to power over 60,000 average-sized US homes, the 161-megawatt Spinning Spur Wind Project is located in Oldham County and comprises 70 2.3 MW Siemens turbines, which, according to Google, “started spinning full time just before the end of the year.”

The Spinning Spur was built by EDF Renewable Energy, a firm reportedly involved in over 50 other clean energy initiatives.

In a post on the Google Green blog, Kojo Ako-Asare, the Mountain View company’s senior manager of corporate finance, explained Google goes for projects like Spinning Spur because “in addition to creating more renewable energy and strengthening the local economy, they also make for smart investments.” 

Ako-Asare continued, “[The green projects] offer attractive returns relative to the risks and allow us to invest in a broad range of assets. We’re also proud to be the first investor in an EDF Renewable Energy project that is not a financial institution, as we believe that corporations can be an important new source of capital for the renewable energy sector.” The company is also keen to point out that more than 30 percent of its data center operations are currently powered by its green facilities.

Jim Peters, EDF’s vice President of project finance, said the partnership with Google “provides an opportunity for a leading renewable energy developer to join forces with a leading technology company to create value for both our companies and our respective customers.”

Spinning Spur is the eleventh renewable energy investment the web giant has made since 2010. Combined, its wind and solar projects can generate up to 2GW of power – enough to power half a million US homes for a year, or, as Google puts it, “70,000,000,000 episodes of your favorite TV show.”

[Image: Google]

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