WIND POWER:GOOGLE HAS invested $38.8 million in two wind farms in the North Dakota plains in the US that use the latest wind-turbine and control-system technology to optimise their performance and efficiency. The investment in Nextera Energy Resources is the company’s first direct investment in a utility-scale renewable energy venture, having already made early stage investments in solar firm eSolar and geothermal energy company AltaRock. Nextera is currently the biggest generator of wind power in the US.
“We believe this investment can accelerate the deployment of the latest clean energy technology while providing attractive returns to Google and more capital for developers to build additional projects,” said Rick Needham, Google’s green business operations manager.
“We’re excited about this first project investment because it uses some of the latest wind-turbine technology and control systems to provide one of the lowest-cost sources of renewable energy to the local grid,” he said. “The turbines can continuously adjust the individual blade pitch angles to achieve optimal efficiency and use larger blades with 15 per cent more swept area than earlier generations, allowing capture of even more wind energy for each turbine.”