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ENERGY

Google to power data centre with Swedish wind

Google said Tuesday it had entered a ten-year deal with a Swedish wind farm developer to power a data centre in Finland.

Google to power data centre with Swedish wind

The US search giant said it would buy the entire electricity output of a new wind farm to be operated by Swedish firm O2 in Maevaara in the north of Sweden, to cover the energy needs of its data centre in Hamina, south Finland.

No financial details were provided.

Google said it expected to reduce its electricity bill by an amount “depending on the evolution of the market,” according to Francois Sterin, a senior manager at the company’s infrastructure team.

The 24 wind turbines, with a total capacity of 72 megawatts, would become operational in 2015, and construction on the project would begin “in the coming months”, the company said.

The wind power plant will be owned by German insurer Allianz, which is funding the project.

The agreement takes advantage of Scandinavia’s shared electricity market and grid system, Nord Pool, enabling Google to buy the wind farm’s electricity in Sweden and consume the same amount of power at its data center in Finland.

Google already claims to be a carbon neutral company, and has bought into several renewable energy projects around the world, most recently in May when it made a $12 million investment in a South African solar energy project.

AFP/The Local/dl

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ENERGY

German households to receive relief for gas costs ‘starting in January’

To help German residents with skyrocketing energy costs, the government is planning to provide relief starting in January, according to draft legislation.

German households to receive relief for gas costs 'starting in January'

Through the gas price cap, the so-called Gaspreisbremse, both German residents and companies will receive retrospective relief for their gas costs starting in January 2023, according to the draft. 

Previously the relief payments were set to stretch between March 2023 and spring 2024, with 25,000 larger businesses, as well as almost 2,000 hospitals and schools to receive the help starting in January. 

READ ALSO: How much could households save under Germany’s new price cap?

The German government is reacting to the sharp rise in energy prices with energy price brakes worth billions and wants to soften the blow on both private households and companies. 

Germany will also be divvying out a one-off energy relief payment in December.

READ ALSO: When will people in Germany get their December gas bill payment?

How much will households and businesses receive?

Under the gas price cap, households and small and medium-sized enterprises are to receive a guaranteed gas gross price of 12 cents per kilowatt hour for 80 percent of their current consumption. For the remaining 20 percent of consumption, the contract price is set to apply.

For district heating, the guaranteed gross price is to be capped at 9.5 cents. 

Starting in January, a gas price brake is also planned for industry. These large consumers are to receive a guaranteed price of 7 cents per kilowatt hour net for 70 percent of their previous consumption volume.

The largest part of the energy price brake is to be financed by a “defence umbrella”, or special reserve, totalling up to €200 billion. The government is still taking on new debt in order to finance the energy caps. 

Russia’s war against Ukraine has increasingly aggravated the situation on the energy markets in Germany and Europe in the course of 2022, the draft states. 

In particular, the recent large price increases for natural gas and heat represent a “considerable, in some cases existence-threatening burden for residents and companies in Germany,” it continued. “They are an enormous socio-political and economic challenge.”

Vocabulary

relief – (die) Entlastung

Natural gas – (das) Erdgas

Consumption – (der) Verbrauch

cushion/soften a blow – abfedern

We’re aiming to help our readers improve their German by translating vocabulary from some of our news stories. Did you find this article useful? Let us know.

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