Google is in many ways considered to be a progressive company. The business, which has a foundation upon a search algorithm and generates significant cash from the sale of advertising, today operates a number of cloud based services such as the original Google Search, Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive and Google Photos to name a few. The business operates these services from large server farms or data centres dotted around the world. A traditional data centre is not an attractive building as it is designed with functionality rather than aesthetics in mind, but Google has tried to do things differently. In one case, it has bought a decommissioned coal fired power station to repurpose the building. In other cases, Google has commissioned artists to paint the sides of its data centres.
Of course, a part of the data centre process is providing the necessary infrastructure: this means providing an Internet connection and power cabling. As a business, Google has proudly been a carbon-neutral entity since 2007 and a part of this is that it has committed to powering all operations with renewable energy sources. To this end, the company already has approximately 265 megawatts of renewable energy capacity in Europe and earlier this week, announced another two deals to bring this figure to 500 megawatts. These two deals are for wind farms in Norway and Sweden, although in each case the wind farm has not yet been built. Additional finance for these projects is being provided by BlackRock.
The deal in Norway sees Google buying power from an onshore wind farm, Tellenes, south of Stavenger. This wind farm is expected to be fully operational in late 2017 when it will consist of fifty turbines of 160 megawatt capacity, making it the largest such wind farm in Norway. The Swedish deal consists of Google buying the power output from a 22 turbine field near Mariestad in central Sweden, due to be completed in early 2018. This is the company's fourth renewable energy contract in Sweden although Google did not report the value of either of these two deals. The energy generated by these two wind farms will be used to generate power for Google's European data centres and add 236 megawatts to its renewable energy generation capacity.