Google Inc. is the best known name in the IT sector today. Betterknown as the search engine giant, Google has decided to become active on the green technology front as well and has in the past two weeks, madetwo direct investments in the renewable energy sector, with the latestventure at Shepherd’s Flat wind project in Oregon costing it close to a$100 million. Its previous venture was the $186 million investment inthe under-construction Ivanpah solar power plant.
Spread over an area of 30 square miles with an estimated total costof $500 million, the Shepherds Flat, currently owned by Caithness Energy and GE Energy Financial Services, is the largest wind-energy project in the world with a projected power generation of 845 megawatts,sufficient enough for 235,000 average U.S. homes; when in operation.Additionally what makes this project unique and technology oriented isits use of direct drive turbines – a first for a wind farm that’s aslarge as Shepherds Flat. Powered by giant permanent magnets, theseturbines are more efficient and reliable than those employing gearboxes.
Furthermore, California has recently passed a mandate that makes itcompulsory for firms to have at-least one third of its power requirement met from renewable energy sources, with a time limit of until 2020.This mandate therefore not just promotes green technology but alsopromises to bring in revenue for those investing in such renewableenergy ventures. The Shepherds Flat has already inked a power purchaseagreement with Southern California Edison for a 20 year term.
Directly and indirectly, Google has until now invested about $350million in technology promoting clean and green energy via existing ornew start-ups. The Director of Green Business Operations at Google, Rick Needham attributes this move to sound business logic, as it would helpGoogle get not just a significant return on its investment but wouldalso help it do its bit toward the propaganda of renewable energy aswell as fulfill its Corporate Environmental Responsibility.
Also, as a part of its commitment towards green technology anddelivering clean and green energy back to the grid, Google through itscompany blog has appealed to firms to deploy renewable energy to themaximum, with a readiness for associating with projects making businesssense.