Two years ago, Google became the first company of its size to buy as much renewable electricity as the electricity it used. But as the company grows, so does its demand for power. To stay ahead of that demand, Google just made the largest corporate renewable energy purchase in history, with 18 new energy deals around the world that will help build infrastructure worth more than $2 billion.
The projects include massive new solar farms in places like Texas and North Carolina where the company has data centers. “Bringing incremental renewable energy to the grids where we consume energy is a critical component of pursuing 24×7 carbon-free energy for all of our operations,” Google CEO Sundar Pichai wrote in a blog post today. While most of the renewable energy the company has purchased in the past has come from wind farms, the dropping cost of solar power means that several of the new deals are solar plants. In Chile, a new project combines both wind and solar power, making it possible to generate clean energy for longer each day.
The package of new projects will supply a total of 1,600 megawatts of electricity, bringing Google’s total renewable portfolio to 5,500 megawatts—the equivalent of a million roofs covered in solar panels. Pichai writes that the company’s clean energy projects will be able to produce more electricity than is used by the city of Washington, D.C., or the entire country of Lithuania.