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Google invests in a greener future for Texas

Google buys Texas windfarm

Web giant Google announced its fifteenth multimillion dollar investment in the Panhandle 2 wind farm outside of Amarillo, Texas.

The company has invested $75m (£45.6m) in the renewable energy project, and asserted its goal to be a key player in a greener future.

Once up and running, the wind farm is expected to produce 182MW using the plant’s 79 Seimens 2.3MW turbines, which will have the capacity to fuel energy for up to 56,000 homes by the end of this year.

Financing for the project has come from Pattern Energy and Morgan Stanley, with three tax equity investors set to acquire the facility once the venture is complete.

Google goes green

Although the investment of $75m seems a lot it isn’t Google’s largest investment into renewable energy, in June 2011 Solar City received an investment of $280 million from Google; the substantial investment has provided solar panels for residential properties.

However, Google’s purchase of smart technology firm Nest earlier this week saw the company spend the most on any energy saving investment yet, when they acquired the thermostat and smoke detector company for $3.2bn (£195.2m).

So far there hasn’t been any clear connection between the two announcements, other than to reinforce the search engine’s commitment to energy-related products. Critics have speculated that the acquisition of Nest could lead to Google playing a greater role in helping consumers save energy within the home.

Natalie Booth, head of search at theEword, said: “Google has taken positive steps to improve renewable energy in the US in particular, and it will be interesting to see what else the company announces over the next few months.”

Written by Rachel Hand

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