Google And Facebook’s Latest Renewable Energy Forays

Google has announced yet another major wind power investment and Facebook is dipping its toes into solar power.
Google announced yesterday a $100 million investment in the Shepherds Flat Wind Farm in Oregon. The massive wind power facility, expected to be the largest onshore plant in the world upon completion, will generate 845 MW of clean electricity – enough to power more than 235,000 homes. 
Google’s latest renewable energy splurge brings its recent investments in clean power generation to more than USD$350 million. In the last couple of weeks, the search giant has also invested in a solar farm in Germany and sunk USD$168 million in the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System project, currently under construction in in the Mojave Desert in California. Google has also made prior investments in green energy, including powering some of its own facilities with solar power.
The other 900 pound gorilla of the online world, Facebook, is also taking some tentative steps towards powering facilities with renewable energy. According to Data Center Knowledge, a 100kw solar panel array has been constructed at Facebook’s new 28,000 square meter data center in Prineville, Oregon. The solar power system is expected to generate 204,000 kilowatt hours of solar electricity a year. Facebook will be monitoring the solar farm’s performance, with view to perhaps rolling out similar installations at other facilities.
While FaceBook has been heavily criticised for sourcing power for its data centers from coal-fired power generation sources, the company has been placing a special focus on energy efficiency – and sharing that knowledge with the industry. 
Facebook set itself a goal to build one of the most efficient and economical computing infrastructures at the lowest possible cost and as a result, their Oregon data center uses servers that are 38% more efficient and 24% less expensive to build and operate. The company has released specifications and mechanical drawings through the Open Compute Project.