Google signs PPA for renewable energy from offshore wind farm in Scotland

Google has signed a major power purchase agreement (PPA) that will see it offtake renewable electricity from the Moray West offshore wind farm from 2025, as it works towards zero-carbon energy globally by 2030.

Google signs PPA for renewable energy from offshore wind farm in Scotland

Pictured: An artist's impression of the wind farm. Image: Moray West

The PPA is between Google UK and Engie and it is expected that the tech giant will receive the first electricity through this agreement in 2025. At that point, without the deal, Google UK would likely be using 67% zero-carbon energy to power its operations. With the deal, the proportion stands to be around the 90% mark.

The only other Google Cloud regions operating using 90% zero-carbon energy at present are Finland, Spain, Toronto and Montreal in Canada and Iowa in the US.

Moray West offshore wind farm will have a generating capacity of 882MW once complete. Google UK’s PPA covers the electricity produced by a 100MW share of the project.

Initial plans for the project, located in the ocean between Wick in the north and Cullen in the south, were first developed in 2010. They were put on pause due to other commercial activity in the region, but the 85-turbine facility then gained all the necessary consents in early 2019. First power is expected to be generated in the latter half of 2024.

For Engie, the PPA is the latest in a string of corporate deals, with other buyers including chemicals giant BASF, materials and recycling firm Umicore and FMCG major Proctor and Gamble (P&G). Engie Group has a portfolio of 37GW of renewable generation assets.

For Google UK, the PPA contributes to a global ambition of powering all operations with 100% zero-carbon energy by 2030. Google wants this energy to be matched on an hourly basis and has vocally advocated for greater transparency and stronger standards on clean energy procurement.

The PPA will run for 12 years.

Back in March, Google posted a major update on its ‘Time-Based Energy Attribute Certificates’ (T-EACs) tool, which intends to give a far greater degree of certainty than Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (REGOs). The tech firm has subsequently partnered with C40 Cities to implement real-time, clean energy procurement plan for major cities including London, Paris and Copenhagen.

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