Google:  “Our goal is to help drive renewable energy development both as a customer and as an investor, and bring down costs for everyone.”

Google is getting greener.

RODRIGO ARANGUA via Getty Images

The Internet giant on Thursday announced an array of new wind and solar projects that nearly double its renewable energy capacity at data centers across three continents.

The announcement comes three days into the COP21 climate talks in Paris.

Google’s move could give a boost to renewable energy providers in regions of the United States, Chile and Sweden where the company’s facilities are located. Google has already pumped $2.5 billion into large-scale renewable energy projects around the world.

“Google essentially plays two roles in the industry: as a customer, which is the case with today’s announcement, when we acquire renewable energy for our operations, and as a pure investor, when we simply put money behind some projects and get the returns,” a Google spokeswoman told The Huffington Post in an email.
The Huffington Post

“Our goal is to help drive renewable energy development both as a customer and as an investor, and bring down costs for everyone,” Urs Hölzle, Google’s senior vice president of technical infrastructure, wrote on the official company blog on Thursday.

He continued:

These long-term contracts range from 10-20 years and provide projects with the financial certainty and scale necessary to build these wind and solar facilities—thus bringing new renewable energy onto the grid in these regions. For our part, these contracts not only help minimize the environmental impact of our services—they also make good business sense by ensuring good prices.

In a symbolic move six months ago, Google unveiled plans to convert a coal power plant in Alabama into a data center run completely on renewable energy.

Google joins a growing list of companies transitioning to renewable energy.

Goldman Sachs, Johnson & Johnson, Nike, Salesforce, Starbucks and Walmart are among the handful of hugely recognizable names that in September committed to using 100 percent renewable energy, with several expecting to reach their goals within the next decade.