Google Invests $39 million in Wind Farm

Google has long dabbled in the clean energy business. Now the Internet search company is investing in the generation of green power.

On Monday, Google said that it invested $38.8 million in two North Dakota wind farms built by NextEra Energy Resources, a subsidiary of FPL Group, a $16 billion electricity company based in Florida. Google’s investment’s represents a minority interest in a $190 million round of financing for the projects.

The two wind farms have already been built, and Google said that its investment will provide funds for NextEra to invest in additional renewable energy projects. Google’s investment takes the form of a “tax equity investment” where it will earn a return based on the tax credits awarded by the government for renewable energy projects, said Jamie Yood, a Google spokesman. Mr. Yood said the energy from the wind farms will not be used to power Google’s data centers, which consume vast amounts of electricity.

Mr. Yood said Google’s primary goal was to earn a return from its investment but that the company also hopes to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy.

Read the full story by Miguel Helft on the New York Times. May 3rd, 2010.