DES MOINES — Online giant Google announced Thursday it was investing $75 million into a wind-energy farm under development in Iowa.
The deal is part of an overall plan for more Google investment in the Hawkeye State and in its Council Bluffs data center. Details of the plan will be announced Friday afternoon in a press conference at the Iowa State Capitol.
Council Bluffs is home to one of the eight data centers that power Google's Internet search engines and other services. Bluffs area officials, including Mayor Tom Hanafan and Iowa Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, are expected to attend.
The wind farm is being developed by RPM Access, a West Des Moines-based renewable energy company, near the town of Rippey, about 133 miles northeast of Omaha.
The project is expected to produce enough energy to power more than 15,000 Iowa homes, according to a posting on Google's official blog. The Bluffs data center won't get power from the farm. The energy will be sold to the Central Iowa Power Cooperative, which will deliver it to local consumers.
The high electricity demand of Google's massive data centers is one reason the company backs energy projects that cause less pollution than traditional power plants.
The company set a goal in 2007 to become carbon-neutral and says it builds some of the world's most energy-efficient data centers.
In 2010, Google entered into a long-term contract to buy wind energy from a Story County, Iowa, wind farm. Its investments in renewable energy are nearing $1 billion.
“We depend upon large quantities of electricity to power Google services and want to make large actions to support renewable energy,” the company said in a 2010 blog posting.
This report contains material from the Associated Press.
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