Google inks deal for more Nordic wind power
Google, the single largest corporate buyer of clean energy worldwide, has inked a deal to acquire 236MW of wind capacity to power its European data centres.
The tech giant will purchase energy from two wind farms currently under construction in Norway and Sweden. The value of the deals has not been publicised.
Google’s Norwegian wind power will come from a 160MW, 50-turbine project located south of Stavanger, which is due to be completed late next year.
In Sweden, the company will purchase power from a 22-turbine site near Mariestad, in the central region of the country, which will be completed by early 2018.
Google has signed long-term price contracts for both projects to ensure price certainty and help the wind farm developers secure construction financing.
Marc Oman, the EU Energy Lead for Google Global Infrastructure posted a blog about the acquisitions last week.
“One of our key goals is to enable the addition of new renewable energy generation capacity to the grid, rather than drawing power from existing facilities," he wrote.
"And thanks to Europe’s increasingly integrated energy market, we’re able to buy wind energy in Norway and Sweden, and consume it elsewhere in Europe.”
Oman added that the new Scandinavian projects have taken Google “one step closer to running 100 percent of our operations on clean energy”.
The new deals have upped the total capacity of the company’s European renewable power purchases to 500MW.
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.