MidAmerican Energy Co. will supply all the power needs for Google Inc.'s new data center in Council Bluffs with wind power generated in Iowa, the companies announced today.
The Des Moines-based utility company has entered an agreement with Google to provide the data center with up to 407 megawatts of electricity from MidAmerican's Wind VIII program, an initiative announced in May 2013 to bring 1,050 MW of additional wind energy online by the end of 2015.
Google has been working with MidAmerican Energy to procure additional renewable resources since the 2007 construction of Google's Iowa data center. When MidAmerican Energy filed for approval for the Wind VIII expansion project, it had companies like Google in mind as customers, MidAmerican President and CEO Bill Fehrman said.
"Google's significant and growing presence within our service area, along with its long and demonstrated commitment to renewable energy, have been important factors in MidAmerican Energy's pursuit of renewable power," Fehrman said in a release. "In addition to increasing Google's access to renewable energy, this agreement also reduces energy costs for our customers."
By the end of next year, MidAmerican Energy will own and operate approximately 3,335 MW of wind generation capacity. The company has said its wind expansion will enable it to reduce customer electricity rates by $10 million per year by 2017, beginning with a $3.3 million rate reduction next year.
The agreement supplies the first phase of Google's facilities in Council Bluffs with 100 percent renewable wind energy, bundled with and tracked by renewable energy certificates, and will allow additional phases to be supplied with wind-sourced energy as the company grows in Iowa. It's Google's sixth and largest renewable energy purchase to date, bringing the total amount of renewable energy Google has contracted for to more than one gigawatt, or 1,000 megawatts.
"At Google, we pursue a variety of approaches to power our operations with renewable energy," said Gary Demasi, Google's director of Global Infrastructure. "One great way to do this is by working with our utility partners like MidAmerican Energy, and we hope this agreement will inspire all of our utilities to work with us in finding ways to increase the supply of clean power."