clean energy Stories June 24, 2015

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If you send email with Gmail, host your school papers on Google Drive, or watch YouTube videos, you’ve taken advantage of one or more of Google’s many data centers. Today, Google has announced that it’s opening up its 14th site globally, but they’re planning to do something interesting — they’re planning to rework the existing infrastructure of the soon-to-be shut down Widows Creek coal power plant in Alabama… expand full story

clean energy Stories February 11, 2015

Google powering Mountain View HQ from wind power as of next year

Google has announced that it will be powering its Mountain View headquarters with wind power from 2016–or, more precisely, that it will be purchasing enough wind-generated electricity to cover the power used by its HQ.

The agreement with NextEra Energy Resources will help to repower an iconic Bay Area wind farm at California’s Altamont Pass with new turbines that will pour 43 MW of electricity onto the grid starting in 2016 […]

Even though the electrons follow an untraceable path through the California electricity grid, we can be sure that we’re offsetting the electrical consumption of our North Bayshore headquarters with the renewable energy from the new turbines.

Google has been a carbon-neutral company since 2007, and already uses renewable energy to power its data centers (winning praise from Greenpeace), but this is the first time the company has made a direct commitment regarding its offices. Google also runs a free electric shuttle bus service for local residents.

Google shared the news the day after Apple announced that it is building a solar farm to offset all its California operations, including its new campus building currently under construction.

clean energy Stories September 10, 2014


Google has agreed to invest $145 million in a 82MW solar power plant project in Kern County, California. Set on top of a former gas and oil field, the 737-acre facility will be loaded with over 248,000 SunEdison mono-crystalline solar PV modules. Once up and running, the Regulus power plant will crank out enough energy to power more than 10,000 homes.

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clean energy Stories April 2, 2014


As Business Insider points out, Google has ranked quite well in Greenpeace’s “Clicking Clean: How Companies are Creating the Green Internet” study. Google scored an “A” in ‘renewable energy deployment & advocacy’ and a “B” in ‘energy transparency’, ‘renewable energy commitment & siting policy’, and ‘energy efficiency & mitigation’. Facebook and Apple both averaged well in the same categories, while Amazon, Microsoft, and Twitter all scored poor to dismal ratings in each category. Full report card below: expand full story

clean energy Stories August 31, 2011


Google’s environmental strides have inspired a flurry of Silicon Valley copycats to go green. The vast majority, unfortunately, just for the sake of it, mostly to look cool and hip in the public eye. Even though many tech giants are missing out on the big picture, there are a few notable exceptions, such as Apple. The iPhone maker is famously building a stunning spaceship-like campus that will have an underground parking lot with solar roof and they reportedly gave employees “iBikes” to ride between campuses.

But commuting to work without driving, meeting with someone on another continent without flying and riding cars without gasoline has long been “a way of life at Google”, their transportation manager Kevin Mathy wrote in a blog post. In case you didn’t know, Google runs the largest corporate shuttle services in the country.

The system spawns a thousand GBikes Googlers use to travel between campuses, an electric vehicle car share program dubbed GFleet, an on-campus taxi service called GRide and much more. Heck, Googlers even earn credits each time they get to work via non-engine means, which they can later convert into dollars to donate to their charity of choice. All this, plus other amazing facts, in a cool corporate YouTube video.

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clean energy Stories June 3, 2011


Did you know a Google datacenter uses half the energy of a typical industry data center?  The search company has gone to great lengths exploring green energy and it’s not just electric cars for employees. Unlike Google’s, about 70 percent of the world’s data centers are lacking the resources and expertise to go green, explains senior vice president of technical infrastructure Urs Hoelzle. Google’s Hamina, Finland facility depicted in the above clip is an example of such environment-friendliness.

Originally a paper-mill built in the 1950s, it takes raw sea water directly from the Gulf of Finland, pumps it through the existing seawater tunnel and runs it through heat exchangers to dissipate the server load heat from the facility. It than routes the warm water to another building where it’s mixed with the fresh sea water so it could be returned to the Gulf at a similar temperature in order to minimize an impact on environment. Investing in such innovations makes sense from the financial standpoint, too…

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