Google to power Finnish data centre using wind energy

5 Jun 2013

Google data centre in Hamina, Finland

Google has signed a power purchase agreement with Swedish wind farm developer O2 that will see the search giant buy wind energy for 10 years to power its data centre in Finland.

This is Google’s fourth long-term agreement to power its data centres with renewable energy, and its first such agreement in Europe.

Google is set to buy all of the electricity that will be produced at a wind farm that is yet to be built in northern Sweden. O2 has been given the planning go-ahead to build the new 72MW wind farm. It has secured 100pc financing from the investment arm of the insurance company Allianz, which will own the wind farm when it becomes operational in early 2015.

Via its blog Google said the arrangement is being made possible as a result of Scandinavia’s integrated electricity market and grid system Nord Pool.

Google will buy the output from the wind farm, which will be based in Maevaara in Pajala, northern Sweden, to run its data centre in Hamina, Finland.

“The Maevaara wind farm not only allows us to make our already highly energy-efficient Finnish data centre even more sustainable, it also meets our goal of adding new renewable energy generation capacity to the grid,” wrote Francois Sterin, Google’s senior manager from the Global Infrastructure team, on the Google blog.

The company has invested more than US$1bn in wind and solar projects to date. Just last week, Google announced that it is to invest US$12m in a 96 megawatt solar photovoltaic plant in the Northern Cape province of South Africa.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic