Digital behemoth Google announced this week that it has expanded its portfolio of renewable energy projects to a fourth continent as it signed a long-term Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for the output of a 10MW solar array in Tainan City, Taiwan.
Google made the announcement on Tuesday that it had signed on to secure 10MW from a solar farm in Tainan City, 100 kilometres to the south of the company’s Changhua County data centre, which was opened in December 2013 and which is connected to the same regional electricity grid as the solar farm.
The PPA is the first to take advantage of Taiwan’s recently amended Electricity Act, which now allows non-utility companies to directly buy renewable energy to decrease their carbon footprint.
The unnamed solar project is being developed by Diode Ventures, Taiyen Green Energy, J&V Energy, and New Green Power and will reportedly have a design unique to its environs.
Specifically, given that the project is being built at a series of commercial fishing ponds (seen below) the solar panels will be mounted on poles driven into the pond floor and elevated several feet into the sky, serving to maximise land-use efficiency and respect the local ecology while generating local economic benefits.
This expands Google’s renewable energy portfolio to over 30 wind and solar projects located now on four continents, resulting in nearly US$5 billion in investment.
Google also recently announced it had signed a deal with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) for 413MW of electricity generated from solar projects to be constructed in Hollywood, Alabama, and Yum Yum, Tennessee (yes, that’s an actual place).
The electricity generated from the solar projects will be purchased for two new Google data centres currently under construction in Tennessee and Alabama.
The new solar farms in Tennessee and Alabama will eventually boast 1.6 million solar panels.
Thanks to the abundant solar power generated by these new farms, electricity consumed by our data centers in Tennessee and Alabama will be matched with 100 percent renewable energy from day one, helping us match our annual electricity consumption as we grow,” said Google’s Amanda Corio, Senior Lead for Energy & Infrastructure.