Google buys 536 MW from US wind energy

Google will buy 536 megawatts of wind power, adding to the company’s already large supply, making it the biggest corporate purchaser of renewable energy, according to a statement Thursday.

Google also signed an agreement with EDF Renewable Energy for 200 MW from the Glaciers Edge Wind Project in Iowa, and with the Grand River Dam Authority for 140 MW from The Red Dirt Wind Farm in Oklahoma.

EDF Renewable Energy (EDF RE) has signed an agreement to supply Google with 200 MW of wind energy generated from the new Glaciers Edge Wind Project in Iowa. Glaciers Edge, located in Cherokee County in the northwest portion of the state, is expected to create more than 150 jobs during construction.

The Alphabet subsidiary will purchase wind energy from four different power plants: two in South Dakota, one in Iowa and one in Oklahoma.

Google announced at the end of last year that it would reach 100% renewable energy in 2017. With these deals, the company has agreed to buy enough power for all of its energy needs this year, though some of the projects are not yet operational.

This is no small feat — with the volume of searches on the site each year in the trillions, the company needs a lot of processing power. Google’s “electricity consumption is considerable, but for them to meet that already by buying renewable energy is a huge achievement,” Kyle Harrison, a New York-based analyst at BNEF, told Bloomberg.

Other companies, such as Apple, are close to buying enough renewable electricity to cover all the power they use in a year. Even if it did, Google would likely remain the largest corporate buyer of clean energy because it needs a lot more power to operate.

Most of the company’s renewable energy sources are wind power, with the rest coming from solar power.

Google has agreed to purchase 3,186 megawatts total, with 2,397 megawatts of that clean power being generated by U.S. sources, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. The second-largest buyer of renewable energy is Amazon with 1,219 megawatts.

“Google is buying renewable energy across three continents, and has paved the way for dozens of other companies,” Harrison said.