Google has invested $200 million in a utility-scale wind farm developed by EDF Renewable Energy, headquartered in the Carmel Valley neighborhood of San Diego. UTSanDiego.com says:
The backing goes toward EDF’s Spinning Spur Wind Project, a 161-megawatt facility in Oldham County, Texas, between Amarillo and the New Mexico state line. It is designed to produce enough electricity at full capacity to power 60,000 average U.S. homes.
On its official blog, Google described the logic behind the equity investment.
“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,” it explained.
Helping those rettuns are a federal production tax credit for utility-scale wind projects that can offset as much as one-third of development costs!
The Spinning Spur project in Texas has 70 Siemens 2.3-megawatt wind turbines and began commercial operation in December 2012. The electricity produced has been contracted to SPS, a utility that primarily serves Texas and New Mexico. According to UTSanDiego.com:
Google, based in Mountain View, has investments in 10 other renewable energy projects, including BrightSources’s Ivanpah solar thermal power plant in San Bernardino County. The projects have a combined generation capacity of roughly 2 gigawatts. That’s enough to power 500,000 homes — or to watch 70 billion episodes of television, by Google’s unique estimates.
EDF Renewable Energy is a subsidiary of EDF Energies Nouvelles (1), which owns and operates Spinning Spur and more than 50 other renewable energy installations. The businesses are an extension of the French state utility Électricité de France.
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