San Francisco, Sep 20 (IANS) Google CEO Sundar Pichai has announced the biggest corporate purchase of renewable energy in history — made up of a 1,600-megawatt (MW) package of agreements that includes 18 new energy deals.
“These deals will increase our worldwide portfolio of wind and solar agreements by more than 40 per cent, to 5,500 MW equivalent to the capacity of a million solar rooftops,” Pichai said in a statement late Thursday.
“Once all these projects come online, our carbon-free energy portfolio will produce more electricity than places like Washington D.C. or entire countries like Lithuania or Uruguay use each year,” he added.
The announcement came at a time when hundreds of Google employees were scheduled to participate in the “Global Climate Strike” on Friday, led by students globally before the United Nation’s climate summit on September 23.
In 2017, Google became the first company of its size to match its entire annual electricity consumption with renewable energy (and it did the same in 2018).
“Our newest energy purchases will increase Google’s existing renewable energy portfolio by more than 40 per cent,” Pichai added.
The latest agreements will also spur the construction of more than $2 billion in new energy infrastructure, including millions of solar panels and hundreds of wind turbines spread across three continents.
In all, Google’s renewable energy fleet now stands at 52 projects, driving more than $7 billion in new construction and thousands of related jobs.
“The agreements announced today will bring additional large-scale solar and wind farms — representing more than $2 billion in new energy infrastructure — to electric grids worldwide,” said Pichai.
He also announced two new grants from Google.org to provide further support for organisations that expand access to clean energy for all businesses.
“We’ll provide a $500,000 grant to Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA) in the US and a 500,000 euro grant to RE-Source in Europe,” informed Pichai.