It is estimated that data centers collectively account for 1.3% of the world’s consumption of electricity. Given this, the search engine giant Google just announced it’s thirteenth investment in another solar project. Partnering with Silver Ridge Power LLC, the 265 megawatt (MW) solar project in Imperial County will sell energy to San Diego Gas and Electric. The solar project is still under construction in Southern California with a tentative completion date scheduled for 2014. When connected, the project will have the ability to power 80,000 homes.
Google’s Head of Corporate Finance, Kojo Ako-Asare writes “We invest in these projects because they make business sense, because they help put more renewable energy on the grid, and because they have a positive impact on the local economies where they operate.”
Resembling a small grade utility company, Google has been investing large sums of money into clean energy to offset the operational footprint of their data servers. In total, their efforts have collectively generated over 2 GW in renewable energy financing a combined total of over one billion dollars or enough electricity to power 500,000 homes.
For Google and other large tech companies, clean energy investing isn’t about philanthropy or a greenwashing marketing scheme. For them, its business as usual, which will affect their bottom line, delivering both financial and environmental benefits. Combining energy efficient data centers and renewable energy, Google has set a precedent on what tech companies can do, going above and beyond the typical corporate sustainability effort.
Lastly, You don’t need to be a large tech company to be able to invest in clean energy. Mosaic’s online platform allows any California or New York resident to be like Google and partake in our clean energy future.