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Google plans wind-powered datacentre

27 Sep 2012
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Google has unveiled plans to use wind energy to power its new Oklahoma datcentre.

The search giant has signed an agreement to use 48 MW of wind energy from the Canadian Hills Wind Project for its latest datacentre. Google will work with local utilities company Grand River Dam Authority (GRDA) to handle the power used by the Canadian Hills wind farm.

Environmental group Greenpeace is heralding the move as a positive step for corporate datacentres.

"Google's announcement today shows what the most forward-thinking, successful companies can accomplish when they are serious about powering their operations with clean energy," said Greenpeace international senior IT analyst Gary Cook.

"Google faced a local grid mix of over 50% coal power for its Oklahoma data centre. But as a major electricity customer in the state, Google worked with its local utility to secure a new supply of renewable wind energy."

Google will contract out wind power from Okalahoma wind farm Canadian Hills through way of its local utilities company GRDA. The company says that by using middle men like GRDA it can better handle renewable energy options.

"Utilities like GRDA are best positioned to integrate renewable energy into their generation mix and to deliver power. We're a growing company with a corporate mandate to use clean energy for our operations in a scalable way," said director of Google's global infrastructure team Gary Demasi in a blog post.

"We've been working closely with all of our utility partners to find ways to source renewables directly, and we look forward to working with other suppliers to deliver clean energy to our data centers."

Google's push towards green energy adds to the growing list of firms powering their datacentres through greener energy. Both Ebay and Apple made the jump to renewable energies earlier this year.

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James Dohnert

James is a freelance writer and editor. In addition to ClickZ, his work has appeared in publications like V3, The Commonwealth Club,, and Shonen Jump magazine. He studied Journalism at Weber State University.

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