Today in Cleantech

Google has just taken another big dive into wind power, announcing this morning that it has committed to buy power for 20 years from an 100.8-megawatt wind farm to be built in Oklahoma. The power purchase agreement with NextEra Energy Resources is the second big wind power buy for Google Energy, the Internet search giant’s energy subsidiary. That differs from Google’s equity investments in wind and solar power projects including its $100 million stake in the 845-MW Shepherds Flat wind project in Oregon and its $168 million investment in BrightSource Energy’s 392-MW Ivanpah solar thermal power project in California’s Mojave Desert — but it’s an equally valid way to boost the development of renewable energy projects, since it guarantees sales of project power over a 20-year span. In the case of the Minco II wind facility in Oklahoma, to be completed in late 2011, the power will be going to Google’s Mayes County, Okla. data center, set to be up and running later this year. Google’s use of wind power for data centers is due to get it greenie points from Greenpeace, which this morning released a report card on big tech and Internet companies’ scores on how green their data centers are in terms of both efficiency and where they source their power. Facebook, which is building what it says will be a very efficient data center in Oregon, got a poor grade from Greenpeace because it’s being built in an area supplied primarily with coal power, for example.