It hasn’t even been 24 hours since Tim Cook made that huge announcement regarding Apple’s $848 Million investment into a Solar Farm, and now Google has announced that it has tapped into Wind Power to ‘offset’ the electrical consumption of its North Bayshore headquarters on an annual basis.

It turns out that the search giant has signed up a long term agreement to purchase enough local wind energy to power its North Bay headquarters. While Google has been using renewable energy to power up its data centers for quite some time, this is the first time that it has tapped on to renewable source of power for its offices.

Announcing the same, David Radcliffe, VP, Real Estate and Workplace Services at Google said,

We’ve recently signed a long-term agreement to purchase enough local wind energy to offset the electrical consumption of our North Bayshore headquarters on an annual basis. While we’ve been committed to being a carbon-neutral company since 2007, and we purchase clean energy for our data centers, this agreement is the first of its kind when it comes to our offices.

This new agreement, which has been signed with NextEra Energy Resources, will help to re-power a Bay Area wind farm at California’s Altamont Pass with new turbines that will pour 43 MW of electricity onto the grid starting in 2016. Google says that this new technology is twice as efficient, and also safer—’especially for wildlife’.

Looks like Fortune 500 companies are finally taking GreenPeace’s words rather seriously.

In the official announcement blog post, Google has rather gone into minute details to explain as to how it aims to ‘offset’ its North Bay Offices’ electrical consumption. It says that these new turbines will generate energy that feeds into the grid that powers its North Bayshore buildings in Mountain View.

While these electrons can’t be traced once they enter the grid, Google will measure how many of them leave the turbines, as well as how many it uses on campus on an annual basis (tracked through a system of renewable energy credits, or RECs).

So even though the electrons follow an untraceable path through the California electricity grid, Google says, that it can be ‘sure‘ that it is offsetting the electrical consumption of its North Bayshore headquarters with the renewable energy from the new turbines.

However, this isn’t the first time that Google has associated itself, specifically with wind energy. It invested in the same, back in 2010 to build two wind farms that generate 169.5 megawatts of power, enough to power more than 55,000 homes. These wind farms were developed by NextEra resources in North Dakota, the same company with which Google has tied up for its latest foray into wind power.

Though the initiative is obviously noteworthy and commendable, what amazes me, is the fact that it came just hours after Apple made a similar announcement. Well, probably a ‘mere coincidence’ then.



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