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Google secures Taiwan solar array to power data centre

Written by Thu 24 Jan 2019

Long-term deal is Google’s first purchase of renewable energy in Asia and takes advantage of recently amended energy laws

Google has announced it has signed a long-term deal to purchase the output of a 10mW solar array in Tainan City in Taiwan.

The array will be located 100km south of its Taiwanese data centre in Changhua City, and connected to the same regional power grid. Google said it will mount the poles supporting the solar panels into commercial fishing ponds to maximise land-efficiency and to respect local ecology.

The Taiwanese government has only recently changed energy regulations to allow non-utility companies to directly buy renewable energy – the deal makes Google the first non-utility company to take advantage of the law.

The growing availability and cost-effectiveness of renewable energy have made it an increasingly common source of data centre power for the major cloud providers.

Google, Facebook, Microsoft and the rest of Big Tech are all rushing to secure cheap renewable energy through corporate power purchase agreements which allow them to buy energy directly from generators.

6.43 GW of corporate renewable deals were sold in the US in 2018, over twice the amount sold in 2017. Facebook secured 22 deals in 2018 alone.

Since April, Google’s entire operations have been powered by renewable energy and it is the world’s largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy, owning several solar and wind projects across North and South America as well as Europe.

This week’s deal is the first purchase the company has made in Asia. Google will receive a fixed electricity price for the duration of the deal, but the length of the deal has not been revealed.

“As the Taiwanese government pursues further measures to remove market barriers and reduce renewable energy costs, we’re hopeful that more companies will purchase renewable energy, driving even larger projects across Taiwan,” said Marsden Hanna, Google’s senior lead of energy in a blog post.

Written by Thu 24 Jan 2019


Cloud data center Data Centre Google renewable
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