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Google adds new Iowa investment, spending $75 million on wind farm

Google announced today it made a $75 million equity investment in a wind farm (left) in Rippey, Iowa, a town about 50 miles northwest of Des Moines.

The announcement signals another significant investment in the Silicon Prairie by Google. The Mountain View, Calif.-based company’s involvement in the region also includes efforts in Kansas City, the first city to receive Google Fiber, and Council Bluffs, Iowa, where Google operates a data center, offers free public Wi-Fi and provides Chromebooks to the city’s school district.

“We’ve taken two approaches to greening the grid in Iowa, a state where we operate a data center,” Google assistant treasurer Axel Martinez said in a blog post.

Google, which aims to be carbon-neutral, currently purchases Iowa wind energy to help power its Council Bluffs data center. This new investment will not replace that but will, instead, provide energy to local consumers.

The company behind the Rippey wind farm is West Des Moines-based RPM Access, a developer of wind generation projects. The farm will produce enough energy to power more than 15,000 Iowa homes, Google said.

“We’re happy to help make more renewable energy available to Iowans and to support the growing wind energy industry in the state,” Martinez said.

Google’s announcement today comes amidst what the Sioux City Journal calls a “full-court press” by wind energy advocates to save the state’s wind energy production tax credit that expires at year’s end. Iowa, the nation’s second-largest producer of wind energy, credits wind energy producers 2.2 cents for every 1,000 watts of wind energy they produce.


Credits: Photo from Google Official Blog

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