Google announced it has signed a 10-year deal to buy renewable energy from three new wind farms in Finland to power one of its data centers.
Tech companies are rushing to secure cheap renewable energy to curb costs and reduce their carbon footprints through corporate power purchase agreements (PPAs). Such deals allow companies like Google, Alphabet, Facebook and Microsoft to buy energy directly from the source.
Google said the 10-year Finnish deal is the first where it’s buying power from European wind farms that will not receive any government subsidies.
The combined capacity of the three wind farms will be 190 megawatts and will be built by renewable energy developers Neoen, CPC and WPD.
According to WindEurope, new wind power installations in Europe reduced by more than a quarter in the first half of 2018 to 4.5 gigawatt.
Wind has become an increasingly competitive arena with power players in many countries managing volatile energy expenses by locking its electricity costs at a fixed rate.
Germany and Netherlands recently attracted zero-subsidy bids from wind farm developers, putting more pressure on turbine developers as the industry moves away from government support.
“In a growing number of locations, the cost of new renewable energy is competitive with the cost of power from the grid,” Marc Oman, Google’s head of EU energy, said in a blog.
Google’s data center is situated on the southern coast of Finland and uses water from the Baltic Sea for cooling.
In April 2018, Google announced it has 100% hit its renewable energy target. Its contracts to purchase renewable energy projects had led to more than $3 billion in capital investment around the world.