“Google's long and demonstrated commitment to renewable energy, combined with their significant and growing presence within our service area, has been an important factor in GRDA's pursuit of renewables, as exemplified by this agreement,” Dan Sullivan, CEO of GRDA, said in a statement. “In addition to increasing Google's access to renewable energy, we are also offsetting part of GRDA's wind acquisition cost through the premium Google has agreed to pay. We are pleased to pass the savings along to Oklahomans, and we're proud to pioneer this innovative structure with one of our largest customers.”
Environmental group Greenpeace praised Google's agreement with GRDA. The organization has criticized other technology companies such as Microsoft Corp. and Apple Inc. for not using more renewable power for their data centers.
“As Google powers more of its data center fleet with clean energy, it sends a signal to other IT companies and electric utilities around the world that renewable energy is not only possible, but is simply smart business in the 21st century economy,” said Gary Cook, Greenpeace International's senior information technology analyst.
The Canadian Hills wind farm is being developed by Apex Wind Energy Holdings LLC and Atlantic Power Corp. Aside from the GRDA, it will sell power to the Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority and Southwestern Electric Power Co., a Louisiana-based unit of American Electric Power.