Google is on the brink of crossing the billion dollar mark for its investments in clean power projects. The search engine giant is arguably the most aggressive Internet company in the world to embrace clean power for its data centers.
Four years after the Pickens Plan was first announced, former oil baron T. Boone Pickens finally sells off his stake in the planned wind farm in Minnesota.
There have been attempts to couple on site renewable energy with data centers in the past. Most recently, IBM is testing a project in Bangalore, India that uses solar panels to reduce power conversion steps in anticipation of servers that can run on DC power. But the business model developed by WindData is unique in that the company is a renewable energy company that has decided to add data center warehousing as a product offering. It will develop wind farms for the sole purpose of providing wind power to corresponding data centers. WindData, a subsidiary of Austin, TX based Baryonx, says that by developing wind power generation projects with data centers, it can offer IT companies long term reliable power prices free of pricing volatility and any potential carbon regulation. If it can pull this off at truly reasonable long term power prices, this could make it much easier for companies that want to access clean power.
When T. Boone Pickens has touted wind as the way of the future, he has referred to the Sweetwater Wind Farm as a great model that shows “what can happen up through the wind corridor.” The Sweetwater farm, at 585 megawatts, is one of the largest in the country and is owned and operated by Babcock & Brown, an Australian investment firm and wind energy vet. But B&B has plans for 1,000 megawatts of new wind energy capacity in west Texas, which could give Pickens a run for the world’s largest wind farm — just yesterday, B&B announced it had finalized financing and started construction on a 79.5 megawatt Majestic Wind Farm near Panhandle, Texas.
While Pickens has spent millions buying headlines for his wind-powered Pickens Plan, B&B has quite a head-start. The company currently has five wind farms under construction, three of which are in Texas, with a total of 567.5 megawatts of capacity and a price tag of over $1 billion. When those projects are completed, B&B will own or manage 25 wind farms in the U.S. with a capacity of over 2,000 megawatts. The Majestic farm, scheduled for completion this year, is just down the road from Picken’s proposed 4,000 megawatt farm in Pampa, Texas. Will the farms share transmission access?
Read More about Boone’s Inspiration: Babcock & Brown Expands Texas Wind
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