Google Signs Major Offshore Wind Deal

data centre

Largest offshore wind agreement signed by Google to utilise two new wind farms off coast of the Netherlands

Alphabet’s Google inches closer to its carbon free goal, after signing its largest offshore wind agreement to date.

The development to add over 700 megawatts of clean energy capacity to European grids was revealed by Matt Brittin, President, Google Europe, Middle East and Africa in a blog post.

Google is already one of the world’s largest corporate buyer of renewable energy and in September 2020 it achieved a significant environmental milestone when it became the first major company to reach carbon neutrality.

Wind Farm.
Image credit Google

Carbon free

Besides becoming carbon neutral in its first decade of operations, Google in 2017 had also become the first company to operate on 100 percent renewable energy.

Now this week Google’s Brittin said that the search engine giant is “announcing power purchase agreements for more than 700 megawatts of clean energy – including our largest offshore wind projects to date in The Netherlands.”

“As a result, over the next couple of years, our operations are projected to reach more than 90 percent carbon-free energy in The Netherlands, Italy and Poland, and close to 85 percent in Belgium,” said Brittin. “This is a significant step towards our aim to operate on 24/7 carbon-free energy in all data centres and campuses in Europe.”

Google’s Brittin said it has signed PPAs (power purchase agreements) with the Crosswind and Ecowende consortia – joint ventures between energy companies Shell and Eneco – to support 478MW of carbon-free energy capacity from the Hollandse Kust Noord (HKN) V and Hollandse Kust West (HKW) VI offshore wind farms off the Dutch coast.

It also announced smaller renewable PPAs in Italy, Poland and Belgium.

Google did not disclose any financial details of the deals.

Carbon emissions

In October 2023 California passed a law that required companies in the state, including big name tech giants such as Google, to reveal their carbon emissions.

According to its 2023 Environment Report, Google’s emissions stood at approximately 10.2 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent during 2022.

However Google’s PPAs helped achieve a 69 percent reduction in emissions from electricity use.

Google has spent years purchasing renewable energy to reduce its carbon footprint and address climate change, as well as making significant investments in solar and wind farms to help it achieve its green energy ambition.