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Google invests additional EUR 600 million in Finland, signs wind power purchase deals

Google CEO Sundar Pichai (left) and the Finnish Prime Minister Antti Rinne announced the investment in a joint press conference on Friday.Lauri Heikkinen / Prime Minister's Office

Technology giant Google has announced it will invest 600 million euros in the Hamina data centre and an undisclosed amount in two Finnish wind power projects with a total capacity of 250 megawatts.

The data centre investment is a continuation of a 600 million-euro investment announced last spring, raising Google’s total investment in the region to almost two billion euros. The announcement is part of the company’s pledge to invest three billion euros in its European data centres during the next two years.

“Finland is a great example of how the internet can help drive economic growth, and we look forward to partnering with the Finnish Government in the months and years ahead,” saidSundar Pichai, CEO of Google, “Together we can make sure everyone benefits from a strong and sustainable digital economy.”

According to the company, its investments will support almost 4 300 jobs in Finland annually for the coming two years.

“Our Hamina data centre is a significant driver of economic growth and opportunity. It also serves as a model of sustainability and energy efficiency for all of our data centres,” elaborated Pichai.

Clean investments

Google has also announced the biggest corporate investment in clean energy to date, worth two billion euros and comprising 18 separate agreements. The investment will cover 1 600 megawatts of solar and wind energy in the US, South America and Europe.

“Today’s announcement adds new renewable energy to where we use it in the electricity grid,” said Neha Palmer, director of operations at Google. “The initiative also creates jobs and produces clean energy for the consumption of nearby regions.”

In Finland, Google has made two agreements to purchase 250 megawatts of wind power. One of them is a deal to purchase 60 per cent of the nearly 125-megawatt output of Ilmatar’s Piiparinmäki-Murtomäki wind park, which will begin operations in 2020. The other agreement has not been disclosed yet.

“The deal is a great indication of how big technology companies are ready to commit to wind energy,” commented Kalle Pykälä, chairperson and co-founder of Ilmatar Windpower. “It’s not only a clean, but also a very cost-effective mode of electricity production, which enables industrial investments in Finland. Additional construction of renewable energy is the only way to meet global emission targets.”

The normal costs for one megawatt of wind power is 1.5 million euros on average, which would place the total valuation of the wind power agreements to around 300 million euros.

Google has made two wind power purchase agreements in Finland. Image: Ilmatar
By: Samuli Ojala