LONDON — Technology giant Google has announced plans to power its data center in Hamina, Finland with wind energy from Sweden. The company has signed a 10-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Swedish developer O2 for the energy from O2’s planned 72-MW wind farm at Maevaara, in the Övertorneå and Pajala municipality in northern Sweden, which is slated to feature 24 Nordex 3-MW wind turbines.
O2 has secured 100 percent financing for the project’s construction from the investment arm of German insurance company Allianz, which plans to assume ownership when the wind farm becomes operational in early 2015.
The agreement takes advantage of Europe’s increasingly integrated electricity market, in particular Scandinavia’s shared electricity market and grid system, Nord Pool. Under this system Google can buy the wind farm’s electricity output in Sweden and consume the same amount of power, with Guarantee of Origin status, at its data center in Finland.
“Google’s decision to purchase the full output of the Maevaara wind farm for its Finnish data center was a key element in our decision to invest in the project,” said David Jones, head of renewable energy at Allianz Capital Partners. “Maevaara is our first renewable energy investment in Sweden, and the PPA implemented for this project offers an interesting model for further wind farm development in this market.”
Google said it has spent more than $1 billion over the last four years on renewable energy projects in the U.S., Germany and South Africa. The Hamina data center is already carbon-neutral, the company said.
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Lead image: Wind turbine via Shutterstock