Google powers Dutch data centre with locally produced PV solar

Google has signed a 10-year power purchase agreement with Dutch utility Eneco.
Published: Thu 13 Jul 2017

Google will purchase all the solar power generated by Netherland’s largest solar park, 30MW Sunport Delfzijl plant to power a new nearby data centre containing thousands of servers. The €600m Eemshaven data centre, opened last year, is one of four that Google operates in Europe.

Renewable growth in the Netherlands

The solar park, covering 30 hectares, boasts 123,000 solar panels and can generate 27 GWh of solar power a year.

It was developed by German firm Wirsol for Gronigen Seaports’ Delfzijler harbour in Oosterhorn which took advantage of the country’s Green Deal programme which removes regulatory hurdles and red tape in return for commitments on the resulting emission reductions.

The agreement between Eneco and Google comes as the Netherlands makes a push to boost its renewable energy production which includes an investment of €12bn in offshore wind farms this year alone.

Bram Poeth, director of Eneco Commercial Clients said in a statement that Google is a good example for the commercial sector: “Google is forward-thinking to use locally generated solar and wind energy to power its data centre,” said “Google leads the way in providing a good example for the commercial sector, where we see a strong growth of the demand for sustainable energy…..It is completely in line with our aim to connect our customers directly to local sustainable sources.”

Google’s energy plans

For Google, the agreement forms part of the company’s goal to run its data centres and offices on renewable energy this year. Other than reducing its environmental footprint, the drop in solar and wind prices are driving this switch to cleaner energy.

This is Google’s fourth investment in renewable energy in The Netherlands and the company intends to build another large data centre in Luxembourg. The company claims to have contracted 2.7GW of renewable energy capacity making it the “largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy”.

Google’s aim is to ensure that all of its global data centres are powered by renewable energy. Currently, Google has around 2.7GW of renewable energy capacity under its belt, according to Marc Oman, EU energy lead at Google.

“After the agreement with Eneco for the delivery of wind energy from WindPark Delfzijl and the agreements with the wind parks Krammer and Bouwdokken, we are pleased that we can now also make use of solar energy,” Oman said in a statement.

Google’s solar ambitions are being matched by the Netherlands, which is on course to install around 1GW of new solar capacity this year.

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