On Thursday Google announced that it’s put another $75 million into a wind farm in Iowa, bringing its total funds invested in clean energy projects to $990 million.
The Iowa wind farm — called the Rippey Wind Farm and located in Greene County — is owned by RPM Access and its 20 turbines are already online, with a capacity to produce 50 MW of wind power (enough to power 15,000 homes). The power will be bought by Central Iowa Power Cooperative (CIPCO).
Why would Google care about renewable power in Iowa? Because Google uses a lot of power in Iowa.
Google has a data center in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and has already invested in other clean power projects in the region as well, including agreeing to buy power through a power purchase agreement from a 114 MW wind farm in Iowa owned by NextEra Energy Resources. Google is investing in clean power projects because it wants to use more clean power for its data centers — the search engine giant plans to have about a third of the power for its data centers come directly from clean power.
As we noted in September, data centers use enormous amounts of energy. Servers are never shut off, even when not being actively used. And an operation the size of Google uses an enormous number of servers.
The GigaOm article outlines some of Google’s other clean energy investments, spanning the globe. Which should prompt other business leaders to ask themselves: If Google is making a $1 billion bet on clean energy, why aren’t we?