Google currently uses renewable energy to power more than 34 percent of its operations, including its massive data centers. The Google data centers are the focal point of all its energy use. To get an idea of how the data centers work, check out Google’s Inside Our Datacenters where you can get a guided tour of a data center, explore one in Street View, or check out Datacenter locations.
A floating data center?
Google is in the process of building several large floating barges. One is at the end of Treasure Island, a former Navy base in the middle of San Francisco Bay. The other is outside of Portland, Maine. These four-story structures are made from cargo containers. In a recent press release Google said, “Although it’s still early days and things may change, we’re exploring using the barge as an interactive space where people can learn about new technology.”
This statement is tentative drawing speculation that these barges could be used as new Google data centers. Google could use water for raw power as well as for cooling. Google’s push for green energy will no doubt be a part of this latest endeavor.
Google is already using wind power for its data center in Hamina, Finland, and it has made several other wind power purchases. In 2012 it signed an agreement with GRDA utilities to supply wind power for its Oklahoma data center. Google has also installed 1.7 MW of power at its corporate headquarters in Mountain View, Calif.
Most recently Google purchased the entire output of the 240 MW Happy Hereford wind farm outside Amarillo, Texas. The wind farm is expected to start producing energy in late 2014.
In 2013 Google began working with Duke Energy for renewable energy in North Carolina, where it has a data center in Lenoir, N.C. It has invested more than $1 billion to its renewable energy project. If you want to know more, check out the Google Green website and download the PDF on expanding renewable energy options through renewable energy tariffs.
It sure is good to see a successful company investing in green energy. This is, without a doubt, one of the best ways for us to make a move to green energy.