Both Google and Microsoft have invested in major renewable energy contracts to power their data centers (data centers). According to The Register, Google has signed a 12-year, 100MW power purchase agreement with a Scottish offshore wind project called “Moray West”, in the relatively isolated Moray Firth region of Scotland.
The joint venture is owned by EDP Renewables and the French company Engie, and the research giant will get 5 TWh of green energy from the 882 MW offshore wind farm, starting in 2025which will be used to power its Google Cloud UK region.
Microsoft also signed its own power purchase agreement (PPA) in Ireland, which covers over 900MW of new renewable power, and announced it on its European Cloud Features blog.
Sources have said that this will include a deal with Norway’s Statkraft and Ireland’s Energia Group, Power Capital Renewable Energy, which will see the tech giant to obtain more than 366 MW of clean energy under this new agreement.
Both companies have big sustainability goals to achieve on the horizon. The type of hyperscale data centers that the two companies dominate, along with Amazon Web Services (AWS), have a colossal environmental footprint.
Why are they investing?
According to an independent study by the IEA, data centers consume around 1% of all electricity consumed worldwide. By 2025, Microsoft aims to move to 100% renewable energy supply and, by 2030, match 100% of its electricity consumption to zero-carbon energy purchases.
Matt Brittin, President of Google EMEA, said his company aims to “to operate entirely on carbon-free energy by 2030” and “in the UK we will be running on nearly 90% carbon free energy by 2025“. According to Google, with this latest deal, the UK cloud region will join 6 other regions — including Finland, Iowa, Montreal, Spain and Toronto — that will run on 90% carbon-free power or almost from 2025.
Matt Brittin has released a statement acknowledging the growing concerns of individuals in the UK and Europe over climate change and energy security. “We share these concerns and believe that technology is an important part of the solution, both reducing our own emissions and helping others reduce theirs.“, did he declare.