Google has long been a champion of clean energy. The search-engine giant established the Google Energy subsidiary, created energy monitoring tech like Google PowerMeter and regularly invests in clean tech start-ups like eSolar and AltaRock. And while these achievements are great, the company recently took its commitment to clean energy one step further. Google recently gave $38.8 million to two North Dakota wind farms, marking the first time the company invested in a utility-scale renewable energy project.
The farms’ 113 turbines were developed by NextEra Energy Resources and harness the strong winds that blow through the North Dakota plains. All in all, the farms produce about 169.5 megawatts of power, enough energy to juice 55,000 homes in the area.
While the farms certainly provide plenty of clean, renewable power, they also use state-of-the-art turbine technology. The spinning blades can constantly adjust their individual pitch levels to achieve an optimal level of efficiency. The turbines are also about 15 percent larger than traditional designs. That larger surface area results in an even greater energy-capture rate.
While this is Google’s first investment in utility-scale clean energy projects, the company asserts that it is always looking for new renewable energy investment opportunities. Just think of how much our reliance on renewables would increase if every multi-billion-dollar company made the same kind of commitment to clean energy.