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Google invests $200 million in Texan wind power

Posting in Energy

Google takes another step in the world of renewable energy by announcing its latest investment in wind power through the construction of a $200 million wind farm.

The tech giant's latest bet on alternative energy has arrived in the form of the Spinning Spur Wind Project, which Google Corporate Finance Senior Manager Kojo Ako-Asare explains on Google's Official Blog as a facility located about 35 miles from Amarillo. The 161 megawatt wind farm was originally built by EDF Renewable Energy, and is powered by 70 2.3 MW Siemens wind turbines.

Ako-Asare commented:

"We look for projects like Spinning Spur because, in addition to creating more renewable energy and strengthening the local economy, they also make for smart investments: they offer attractive returns relative to the risks and allow us to invest in a broad range of assets."

The wind farm's turbines began to operate in late 2011.

Google's total investments in alternative energy has now reached over $1 billion. The firm has backed numerous projects since 2010, bringing the total amount of electrical capacity in which Google invests to about 2 gigawatts of electricity, which is enough to power approximately 500,000 U.S. homes annually.

The Mountain View, Calif. company has also invested in projects including Shepherds Flat, one of the world's largest wind farms with a capacity of 845 MW, the Ivanpah project, which is 75 percent complete and employs over 2,000 people, and Recurrent Energy's 88MW solar installation in Sacramento County, Calif., which began commercial operation this month.

In addition to the announcement, Google also released the following infographic:

Thumbnail credit: Tom/Flickr

— By on January 9, 2013, 4:42 PM PST

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure