Google has agreed to buy wind power from two separate projects – being financed by BlackRock and Ardian – that have not yet been built in Norway and Sweden. The US tech giant is purchasing a combined 236MW of clean energy in the two Nordic countries as part of its commitment to power 100 percent of its operations with clean energy.
In Norway, Google will purchase power for 12 years from the 160MW Tellenes wind farm, south of Stavanger. This project is expected to finish at the end of 2017 and will be the largest wind farm in Norway. Funds managed by BlackRock are providing financing for the Tellenes project.
French fund manager Ardian and clean energy producer Rabbalshede Kraft will develop and operate a 76MW wind farm in southern Sweden, a location known for strong and consistent wind speeds. Ardian has a 75 percent stake in the project, which is scheduled to be online by the end of 2017. Rabbalshede Kraft holds the remaining 25 percent and will build and maintain it. Swedish companies Skanska and Ellevio will connect the project to the grid.
Ardian closed its fourth infrastructure fund in January at €2.65 billion, which it claimed was the largest European infrastructure fund ever raised. In May, Ardian announced that energy veteran Simo Santavirta, previously at Intergen, was joining the fund manager to assist with infrastructure asset management. Ardian said at the time it was moving to “a more industrial approach in the asset management of its portfolio companies”.
This is Google's seventh wind power deal to date and is part of its commitment to triple clean energy purchases by 2025. US tech companies have made it a priority to power their operations with clean energy and that has led to more deals in the European renewables industry as well.
In April, Facebook agreed to purchase 150MW of wind energy over a 10-year period from Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners, to power its headquarters in Dublin and a new data centre in Ireland.