Google signed a long-term agreement to purchase the output of a 10-megawatt solar array which is part of a larger solar farm in Taiwan's Tainan City, the company announced Tuesday.
According to Google's blog post, the Taiwanese energy developer New Green Power will deploy 40,000 solar panels as part of Google's inaugural renewable energy project in Asia.
Diode Ventures, Taiyen Green Energy, and J&V Energy are the other development partners of the project, which will be located 100 kilometers south of Google’s Changhua County data center, and connected to the regional power grid.
The panels will be installed across commercial fishing ponds in a way that maximizes land-use efficiency, respect local ecology and benefits local aquaculture workers who will be compensated for hosting solar panels on their ponds, Google said.
According to the article, this deal is a result of collaboration between Google, industry stakeholders and the Taiwanese government—which recently amended Taiwan's Electricity Act to allow non-utility companies to directly buy renewable energy and decrease their carbon footprints.
"We’re the first corporate power purchaser to act on this renewables-friendly change to the law. […] As the Taiwanese government pursues further measures to remove market barriers and reduce renewable energy costs, we’re hopeful that more companies will purchase renewable energy, driving even larger projects across Taiwan," Google said.
The solar purchase agreement provides a long-term and fixed electricity price to support Google's operations in Taiwan and will also boost the carbon-free profile of its local data center.
"In addition, it's a step in the right direction for grid reliability and Taiwan's broader energy supply mix, which the government wants to expand and make more renewable in the coming years," it said.
"A policy landscape offering a clear path to cost-effective renewable power procurement is essential as more people and more organizations look to access carbon-free energy. We applaud Taiwan for giving the green light to green energy initiatives like ours—the first of hopefully many more in the region," it added.
According to the blog post, Google has signed on to more than 30 solar and wind projects across the Americas and Europe since 2010, making it the world’s largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy.
By Hale Turkes