Google Inc. has invested another $100 million in a clean energy project. The funding for the Shepherds Flat Wind Farm in Oregon brings Google’s total clean energy investments to more than $350 million and represents the company’s latest attempt to support reliable new ways to power its expanding data centers.
Data centers, or server farms, are notorious power hogs. And Google has many of them. The simple act of typing in a Google search taps into Google’s computing resources—and the grid that supplies energy to those machines.
Google also invested last year in a project to line the sea floor off the East Coast with electrical cables to send power from offshore wind farms back onto land. Building capacity is one of the major costs of clean energy projects. Google has also invested in solar energy.
Google says it’s interested in the Shepherds Flat project “not only because of its size and scale, but also because it uses advanced technology.”
“This will be the first commercial wind farm in the U.S. to deploy, at scale, turbines that use permanent magnet generators_tech-speak for evolutionary turbine technology that will improve efficiency, reliability and grid connection capabilities,” Google said in a blog post. “Though the technology has been installed outside the U.S., it’s an important, incremental step in lowering the cost of wind energy over the long term in the U.S.”
Google shares fell $3.86 to close at to $526.84.