Google continues to roll out high-profile investments in renewable energy, announcing today that it’s putting $100 million into a wind farm in Oregon. Shepherds Flat, which is expected to take up around 30 square miles in Arlington, OR, will be the largest wind farm in the world, supplying electricity to around 235,000 homes via Southern California Edison, which has a 20-year power purchase agreement already in place to begin in 2012.
Google announced the investment via its company blog, where Director of Green Business Operations, Rick Needham, explained the reasons why it was a good idea:
This project is exciting to us not only because of its size and scale, but also because it uses advanced technology. This will be the first commercial wind farm in the U.S. to deploy, at scale, turbines that use permanent magnet generators—tech-speak for evolutionary turbine technology that will improve efficiency, reliability and grid connection capabilities. Though the technology has been installed outside the U.S., it’s an important, incremental step in lowering the cost of wind energy over the long term in the U.S.
As Needham pointed out, this investment brings Google’s total green spending to more than $350 million. He added that the company “remain[s] on the lookout for more projects that make business sense and will help all of us take advantage of clean, renewable energy.”
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