Google has signed three Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) for renewable energy in Finland, where the technology giant has invested USD 800 million since 2009 to establish and expand its Hamina data center.
Leading European renewable energy developers CPC, Neoen and WPD will build three new wind farms in Finland producing a total of 190 MW of electricity, adding new renewable capacity to the same grid where the Hamina data center draws its power. Construction work on the wind farms has already started and the turbines are scheduled to go online in 2019.
“Google has had a large data center in Finland for some time and these are our first PPAs in the country. We are very pleased to procure our renewable power in the same grid as where we consume it, and also proud to help to build three high-quality wind farms,” says Marc Oman, Senior Lead, Energy & Infrastructure, Google.
“The use of Google’s products is growing, so we are very excited for the future in terms of continuing to grow our business and programs in Finland. If that growth materialises, we will probably look to secure more renewable power in the future.”
Finland offers attractive wind power market
According to Oman, Google has signed 14 purchase agreements in Europe totalling nearly 900 MW of wind and solar capacity. However, the PPAs in Finland are Google’s first in Europe which do not involve a government subsidy for renewable energy.
“For Google there is a very clear business case for signing these PPAs, given the energy prices in the Nordics, the wind conditions in Finland and the way projects are permitted here. This is very encouraging and also an important market signal for the policy-makers,” says Oman.
Google is the world’s largest corporate buyer of renewable energy and aims to reduce its exposure to volatile fuel prices with long-term, fixed-price contracts.
“Finland is not the largest market in terms of wind power activity but we have met serious developers, very good projects and experienced people here. The Finnish Wind Energy Association and Invest in Finland have been very helpful in the process that led to the signing of the PPAs. I only have good things to say about our experience in Finland.”
Ideal location for eco-efficient data centers
Finland offers valuable energy know-how and an attractive location for international companies that are interested in minimizing the environmental impact of their data center operations, according to Alpo Akujärvi, Head of Industry, Data Centers, Invest in Finland.
“We are very proud that Google has signed these first three PPAs with Finnish wind power producers. This shows that it is possible to produce renewable wind power in Finland according to market conditions and we hope it will serve as an example to other foreign and Finnish wind power producers who are considering similar projects here,” says Akujärvi.
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