Google to use wind energy for Oklahoma data center

The company says that it has inked a deal with the Grand River Dam Authority for 48 MW of wind energy.

Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger

Google is going green at a data center in Oklahoma.

The search giant announced today that it has signed a deal with the Grand River Dam Authority to transition the energy supply for its Oklahoma data center to wind energy. According to Google, the supply will be powered by 48 megawatts of wind energy from the Canadian Hills Wind Project in Oklahoma. The Project is slated to come online later this year.

Although Google has signed deals in the past to use green, renewable energy, it's the first time the company will take it from a utility provider. In the past, Google's deals have been made directly with the developer who owns the respective wind farm.

Greenpeace has been one of the more outspoken champions of the deal, saying in a statement today that Google's investment sends a message to all other technology companies that green is the way to go.

"Google's announcement today shows what the most forward-thinking, successful companies can accomplish when they are serious about powering their operations with clean energy," Greenpeace said today in a statement. "As Google powers more of its data center fleet with clean energy, it sends a signal to other IT companies and electric utilities around the world that renewable energy is not only possible, but is simply smart business in the 21st century economy."

Google's Oklahoma data center is currently powered by a "local grid mix" of more than 50 percent coal power, according to Greenpeace.