Google's biggest wind energy deal yet

Google's total wind energy purchases will generate enough electricity to power about 170,000 U.S. households.

Google announced today plans to purchase the entire output of the 240-megawatt Happy Hereford wind farm outside of Amarillo, Texas—the company's fifth long-term agreement and its largest commitment yet.

To date, Google has contracted for more than 570 MW of wind energy, enough energy to power about 170,000 U.S. households, the company in a post on its official blog. Ultimately, Google has a goal to power its operations with 100 percent renewable power.

The wind farm, which is being developed by a Native American-owned company called Chermac Energy, is expected to start producing energy late next year, according to Google. The wind farm will provide energy to the Southwest Power Pool, a regional grid that serves Google's Mayes County, Okla.-based data center.

That means the energy produced by the wind farm won't power the data center directly. Once Google buys the renewable energy, the company will retire the renewable energy credits and sell the energy itself to the wholesale market.

Last year, Google signed an agreement to Oklahoma utility GRDA to "green" the energy supply to the company's data center with 48 MW of wind power from the Canadian Hills Wind Project.

Photo by Flickr user Kurtis Elton

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This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com