Google unveiled plans Thursday to drastically increase its investment in clean energy, announcing what it said is the largest renewable energy deal made by a company outside the utility sector.
In a statement, the U.S. tech giant said that its latest investment would add 842 megawatts to its clean energy capacity -- the equivalent of a medium-sized coal power plant. With the investment, Google has increased its overall renewable energy capacity to 2 gigawatts -- something the company likened to “taking nearly 1 million cars off the road.”
“These additional 842 megawatts represent a range of locations and technologies, from a wind farm in Sweden to a solar plant in Chile,” Google said, in the statement. “We’re one step closer to our commitment to triple our purchases of renewable energy by 2025 and our goal of powering 100 percent of our operations with clean energy.”
In the statement, Google also reiterated its pledge to triple the purchase of renewable energy by 2025, and eventually power its databanks with 100 percent clean energy through several large-scale power purchase agreements.
“These are global deals on 3 continents, 6 deals in total, in the U.S. and Chile and Sweden,” Michael Terrell, who leads energy policy and market strategy for Google’s global infrastructure team, reportedly said. “We’re doing these deals not only because they are good for mitigating our carbon impact. … As prices for renewables have come down, it’s really started to make a lot of business sense.”
Google is not the only corporate giant moving toward clean energy. In recent months, Microsoft and Apple have also made significant pledges, underscoring a growing concern over the impact fossil fuels are having on the global climate.
Earlier this week, on the second day of the ongoing climate conference in Paris, billionaires Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and several other high-profile entrepreneurs launched the Breakthrough Energy Coalition, which aims to increase research and investment in early-stage clean energy technologies.
According to a recent estimate by the Rocky Mountain Institute, in 2014, U.S. corporations signed power purchase agreements for 1.2 gigawatts of renewable energy. So far in 2015, even without including Google’s latest investment, this number has already crossed 2 gigawatts.