September 25, 2019

Google announced the biggest corporate purchase of renewable energy in history. The purchase is made up of a 1,600-megawatt package of agreements and includes 18 new energy deals, of which one in Belgium together with ENGIE. Together, these deals will increase Google’s worldwide portfolio of wind and solar agreements by more than 40%, to 5,500 megawatts—equivalent to the capacity of a million solar rooftops.
Nearly half of the megawatts produced will be in Europe. This will enable more than 1 billion euros in investments in the EU. Almost half (793 MW) of the new renewable energy capacity purchased will be located in Europe, specifically from Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Belgium.
“Sustainability has been one of Google’s core values from our earliest days. We’ve been a carbon-neutral company since 2007. In 2017, we became the first company of our size to match our entire annual electricity consumption with renewable energy (and then we did it again in 2018). As a result, we became the largest corporate buyer of renewable energy in the world.” declares Thierry Geerts, country director at Google Belgium.
Google’s 92-megawatt purchase from ENGIE in Belgium, produced by offshore wind farm Norther in the North Sea, is its first large-scale renewable energy purchase in the country and marks the first time that Google buys power from an offshore wind farm. “Modern offshore wind turbines can be more than twice the size of onshore turbines, enabling us to bring large amounts of low-cost, clean electricity to the grid where our Belgian data center is located.”, explains Geerts.
Being the largest green energy producer in Belgium, ENGIE aims to be the leader of the zero carbon transition ‘as a service’. Philippe Van Troeye, CEO of ENGIE Benelux: “In order to reach this ambition, ENGIE provides its customers with the solutions they need to reduce their ecological footprint. We are proud to help Google meet their environmental goals in the Benelux by facilitating their consumption of renewable energy in Belgium and we hope this deal sets the tone for future international collaborations.”
Norther is an offshore wind farm – a total of 44 wind turbines – with a maximum capacity of 370 MW that is currently being build in the Belgian North Sea, within the Exclusive Economic Zone of Belgium, approximately 23 kilometres from the Belgian port of Zeebruges. The concession was granted at the end of 2009, which is when the actual development of the Project began.
(Source: Engie – Image: Norther offshore wind farm)