Google Signs 18 Deals for 1.6GW of Renewable Energy

The transactions span the globe and include investments in the U.S., Chile and Europe.
Clockwise from top left: Wind and solar projects that currently serve Google in Sweden, North Carolina, the Netherlands, Oklahoma and Chile. Image courtesy of Google

Google has signed 18 new energy deals in a package of agreements that comprises 1,600 megawatts of clean energy. The purchase will increase the company’s worldwide portfolio of wind and solar contracts by more than 40 percent, to 5,500 megawatts.

Google’s consistent sustainability efforts have resulted in a series of achievements that have turned the company carbon-neutral since 2007. A decade later, in 2017 and in 2018, Google became the first company of its size to match their entire annual electricity consumption with renewable energy.

Additionality

The newest energy purchases will also trigger the construction of more than $2 billion in new energy infrastructure, including millions of solar panels and hundreds of wind turbines spread across three continents. The strategy stems from Google’s “additionality” criteria in selecting projects—a few years ago, the company has stopped buying power from existing wind and solar farms and resorted to making long-term purchase commitments that result in the development of new projects. In total, Google’s renewable energy fleet counts 52 projects, driving more than $7 billion in new construction and thousands of related jobs.

Chart courtesy of Google

The latest 18 deals span the globe and include investments in the U.S., Chile and Europe. Specifically, in the U.S. it will be acquiring energy from 720 megawatts of solar farms in North Carolina (155 megawatts), South Carolina (75 megawatts) and Texas (490 megawatts). This purchase will more than double the capacity of its global solar capacity to date. Furthermore, in South America, Google is adding 125 megawatts of renewable energy capacity. Google’s renewable energy investment in Europe will comprise nearly half of the total package—793 megawatts in Sweden (225 megawatts), Belgium (286 megawatts) and Denmark (160 megawatts).

Until recently, Google has been more drawn to wind energy investment, but the declining cost of solar has determined the company to include solar power to its portfolio. In fact, the Chile transaction marks the first time Google buys power in a hybrid technology deal that combines both solar and wind.