I was pleased to learn that Google has plunked down nearly $40 million in investments in two North Dakota wind farms. It is the Internet and cloud app giant’s first direct investment in utility-scale, renewable-energy generation, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Up until now, Google has been making investments in start-up or early stage companies working on wind, solar and geo-thermal technologies for power sources. But now, the company said it’s turning its focus to investing directly in projects that use the most modern methods in clean energy. The wind turbines that Google partially owns generate nearly 170 megawatts of power, energy that could take care of the needs of more than 55,000 homes.
The news of Google’s investment is welcome to those, including me, who believe that cloud computing is not only less costly for enterprises, but also gentler on the earth. Of course, how gentle depends on where cloud providers derive their energy sources: coal plants or wind farms?
Unfortunately, for environmentally conscious users of Gmail and Google Docs, the electricity generated from the wind farms that Google has invested in, won’t power its data centers, says the article. But it’s great to know that Google’s investment policies in alternative energy sources are changing and that it’s stepping up its interest in deploying renewable energy.
What’s my interest in clean computing? Well, at Monitis, we’ve figured out how monitoring via the cloud is vastly cheaper, greener than through traditional models, such as open-source software. And as we continue to grow to meet higher demands for the Cloud monitoring, it not only makes us feel good knowing that using cloud-based tools is less costly for customers, but that it’s also gentler on the earth.