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Google sets up 48MW PPA with local utility

UNITED STATES: Google has set up a partnership deal with its local utility the Grand River Dam Authority (GRDA) to power its Oklahoma data centre with wind energy.

Under the deal, Google will pay GRDA to supply electricity from the Atlantic Power Corp-owned 48MW Canadian Hills project in Oklahoma. It is also the first time GRDA has purchased wind power.

Google said the arrangement was a departure from previous power purchase agreements it had made directly with project owners. The company said a utility was best positioned to integrate renewable energy.

In 2010, Google signed its first PPA, for 114MW NextEra Energy Resources for the Story County II wind farm in Story and Hardin counties in Iowa.

Google director of global infrastructure Gary Demasi said: "We’ve been working with GRDA, our local utility, to procure additional renewable energy since we "plugged in" our data center in 2011, and in February of 2012, GRDA approached us about purchasing power from Canadian Hills.

"In conjunction with the electricity GRDA already supplies Google to operate its data center, Google will pay GRDA a premium to purchase renewable energy generated by Canadian Hills. This brings the total amount of renewable energy for which Google has contracted to over 260MW."

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