Google puts $100 million into world's largest wind power farm

By on April 19, 2011, 11:35 AM
Continuing with its investments in clean power Google has announced it is pumping $100 million into the construction of the world's largest wind farm. Spanning over 30 square miles in Arlington, Oregon, the Shepherds Flat wind farm is expected to cost $2 billion to build and should produce 845 megawatts of electricity, or enough to fuel more than 235,000 homes, when it is completed by developer Caithness Energy in 2012.

The move follows a $168 million investment in BrightSource Energy’s solar energy project and a planned 169.5 MW wind energy development by NextEra Energy Resources in North Dakota.


The Shepherds Flat Wind Farm under construction

"This project is exciting to us not only because of its size and scale, but also because it uses advanced technology," said Rick Needham, Director of Green Business Operations in a blog post. This will be the first commercial wind farm in the U.S. to deploy, at scale, turbines that use permanent magnet generators -- tech-speak for evolutionary turbine technology that will improve efficiency, reliability and grid connection capabilities. Though the technology has been installed outside the U.S., it's an important, incremental step in lowering the cost of wind energy over the long term."

Google is a massive consumer of energy due to the huge datacenters needed to run its search and web services. The company's investments in renewable energy, which now stand at around $350 million, might help offload some of the costs in the future while using clean power. In the meantime, they are also an attractive deal for Google on the basis of financial returns, as it can sell energy on the wholesale markets in exchange for tradable Renewable Energy Certificates.




User Comments: 7

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w3b0n said:

Nice move, take out the control of those oil pigs

Cota Cota said:

BP must be really considering now drilling more holes on the moon to keep his future secure.

Lurker101 said:

That's a waste of $100M. Wind farms are less than worthless. They don't work when it's not windy. They spin out of control and set on fire when it's too windy (it's happened to the wind turbines in my area). That money would've been better spent on some other form of renewable energy.

Still, with Google putting all this money into renewable energy, maybe they'll go a step further and try to crack hydrogen energy.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

Wind farms are less than worthless. They don't work when it's not windy.

So solar power is a waste of time also since it doesn't produce electricity at night?

They spin out of control and set on fire when it's too windy (it's happened to the wind turbines in my area).

Jeebus! Who built your wind farm, Irwin Allen.

This country has wind farms up the wazoo- I've never heard of any running amok, but then I believe the rotor pitch/furling/decoupling was pretty well investigated here- given that 100-165 km/h winds aren't all that uncommon in the area.

That money would've been better spent on some other form of renewable energy.

Nuclear ? Burning excess hipsters (a seemingly endless supply) in place of coal ?

Still, with Google putting all this money into renewable energy, maybe they'll go a step further and try to crack hydrogen energy.

I'm hoping you mean cold fusion and not mucking around with tritium and deuterium.

Trillionsin Trillionsin said:

dividebyzero said:

Wind farms are less than worthless. They don't work when it's not windy.

So solar power is a waste of time also since it doesn't produce electricity at night?

They spin out of control and set on fire when it's too windy (it's happened to the wind turbines in my area).

Jeebus! Who built your wind farm, Irwin Allen.

This country has wind farms up the wazoo- I've never heard of any running amok, but then I believe the rotor pitch/furling/decoupling was pretty well investigated here- given that 100-165 km/h winds aren't all that uncommon in the area.

That money would've been better spent on some other form of renewable energy.

Nuclear ? Burning excess hipsters (a seemingly endless supply) in place of coal ?

Still, with Google putting all this money into renewable energy, maybe they'll go a step further and try to crack hydrogen energy.

I'm hoping you mean cold fusion and not mucking around with tritium and deuterium.

Always providing the facts, with proof. Hahaha

What I think is strange is when I see the wind farms around here, half of them arent even moving. It's as if they are broken, or they lock them up as to NOT produce energy.... I dont really understand why most of them arent working. Maybe you have the answers?

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

That sometimes happens here if there is an oversupply of electricity to the national grid. A lot of power here is generated by hydro-electric schemes (and geothermal), and when lake levels rise they tend to supply the bulk of the residential usage. Whether that applies to the midwest U.S. I have no idea - maybe an email to the energy company that own the farm would shed some light.

Guest said:

COLD FUSION IS HERE

Rossi has given three demonstrations so for including with professors from Bologna University and the Swedish skeptics society and the Chairman of the Swedish Physics Union. This is a link to the LENR site where detailed information about cold fusion efforts is available. http://www.lenr-canr.org/News.htm The Naval Research lab has been working on this with positive results for over 10 years. My only concern at this point given the vested powers is that Rossi will be Accidented or Suicided etc.

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