Wind Power Gets More Google Love


Google’s recent renewable energy investments rival some governments’. In it’s ongoing love affair with wind power, Google has announced a USD $55 million stake in a 102 megawatt wind power project in California.
Google and Citigroup will both plough $55 million into the fourth phase of Terra-Gen Power’s 102 megawatt Alta Wind Energy Center (AWEC). 
AWEC will have a generating capacity of 1,550 megawatts (MW) when completed, enough to supply clean electricity to 1.2 million people in 450,000 homes. 
The gigantic wind farm will have contributed 3,000 domestic manufacturing, construction, operation and maintenance jobs and mitigate carbon dioxide emissions by more than 52 million metric tons annually, comparable to taking 446,000 cars off the road. The completed project will boost California’s wind generation by 30 percent and will be close to double the capacity of the largest currently operating U.S. wind farm.
“We’re particularly excited about this project because it’s a major contributor to California’s ambitious renewable energy goals and uses a proven and local wind resource area,” said Rick Needham, Director of Green Business Operations at Google. “With this deal, we’ve now invested more than $400 million in the clean energy sector.”
Other recent renewable energy investments by the search giant include a solar farm in Germany, the Atlantic Wind Connection, two wind farms situated in the North Dakota plains and a 114 megawatt wind farm in Iowa. 
Google isn’t suddenly jumping on the renewables bandwagon; it’s just ramping up investment and has been a supporter of renewables for years. In 2007, Google installed a 1.6MW solar panel array at its Mountain View, California headquarters.
Citicorp CEO, Vikram Pandit, says Citi’s investment in the Alta Wind Energy Center   is more than just about profit.  “Using our financial expertise to help bring renewable energy projects to market is not only a good business opportunity, but also is essential in demonstrating the innovative solutions that can significantly contribute to U.S. energy security.”