Ørsted and Google Partner to Bring Low-Cost Renewable Energy to Texas

Wind Turbine

(Credit: Ørsted)

by | Apr 6, 2023

Wind Turbine

(Credit: Ørsted)

Google has signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with Ørsted to purchase renewable energy generated by the Helena Wind Farm in Texas over the next 15 years. The project, located in Bee County, Texas, has a capacity of 150 MW and provides low-cost electricity to the South ERCOT service territory. Estimates indicate the wind farm has the capacity to power roughly 90,000 homes.

Launched in the middle of 2022, the wind farm stands as a significant investment of almost half a billion dollars in Bee County. Subsequently, creating around 300 job opportunities for the construction and operation of the facility.

Ørsted and Google Partnership

The recently signed power purchase agreement between Google and Ørsted marks their first collaboration in the United States and second worldwide. By partnering with Ørsted to purchase renewable energy generated by Helena Wind Farm, Google is furthering its pledge to power all its data centers, cloud regions, and offices with 24/7 carbon-free energy by 2030. This ambitious goal entails matching the company’s electricity demand with a carbon-free energy supply every hour of every day in all regions where it operates.

“Building a 24/7 carbon-free energy portfolio requires us to blend various resources to optimize for hourly production, and that’s exactly what this project helps us accomplish,” said Sana Ouji, Energy Lead at Google. “We’re excited to continue our partnership with Ørsted and add this wind project to our existing solar portfolio in ERCOT as we serve customers out of our Dallas cloud region.”

Ørsted aims to achieve a capacity of 17.5 GW of onshore renewables by 2030, with a yearly increase of approximately 1.5 GW while expanding its clean energy portfolio comprising wind, solar, storage, and renewable hydrogen. The recent partnership between Google and Ørsted further strengthens Ørsted’s expanding U.S. renewable energy portfolio while aiding Google in meeting its goal of advancing 24/7 carbon-free energy by 2030.

“As a trusted partner in providing clean energy solutions for our customers, we’re proud to support Google’s decarbonization goals on both a regional and global scale,” said Monica Testa, Head of Origination at Ørsted Americas. “Google’s leadership in the investment of renewable energy and commitment to advancing 24/7 carbon-free energy by 2030 sets a strong example for companies across the globe, and we look forward to helping them achieve that ambition.”

Google’s Solar Portfolio in ERCOT

In 2019, Google announced that it had made its largest renewable energy purchase yet, which included a 200 MW wind farm in West Texas that is connected to the ERCOT grid. The PPA with Helena Wind Farm adds to Google’s existing solar portfolio in ERCOT and strengthens its partnership with Ørsted.

The PPA will contribute to decarbonization efforts in Texas and enhance county services while providing additional support for local school districts without raising taxes. The project marks a significant milestone in the ongoing transition to renewable energy in the United States.

Ørsted’s Investment in the United States

The company has established and currently operates multiple offshore wind farms along the Eastern seaboard, including the Block Island Wind Farm in Rhode Island, the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project, and the Skipjack Wind Farm in Maryland. Additionally, Ørsted has directed investments towards onshore wind and solar projects situated in several states, such as Texas and Nebraska, and is resolute in its pursuit to further extend its reach within the American renewable energy sector.

To date, Ørsted has invested more than $1.8 billion in five wind energy projects in operation and one solar energy project under construction across the State of Texas.

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