Google sinks $200 million into Texas wind farm

Google has invested $200 million in a Texas wind farm, which will become a part of the company’s $1 billion renewable energy portfolio, the Internet search giant said Wednesday.

The Spinning Spur Wind Project in Oldham County, about 35 miles from Amarillo, has  70 Siemens wind turbines, each with a 2.3 megawatt capacity.

The 161 megawatt farm, built by EDF Renewable Energy, began operating in December and can power more than 60,000 homes.

“We look for projects like Spinning Spur because, in addition to creating more renewable energy and strengthening the local economy, they also make for smart investments: they offer attractive returns relative to the risks and allow us to invest in a broad range of assets,” Google said in a statement on its blog.

Google’s other energy investments include the Atlantic Wind Connection, an offshore grid that is planned to link 7,000 megawatts of offshore wind generation to the coast. The project is meant to advance offshore wind power along a 250 mile stretch of the Atlantic coast, from New Jersey to Virginia, Google said. The company has a 37.5 percent stake in the first phase of that project.

Google has also invested $280 million to create a fund meant to help offer financing of residential solar installations through SolarCity.

SolarCity pays for the installation and maintenance of solar systems at homes, with customers prepaying or paying monthly lease payments to the company, according to Google.

Google  has made 11 renewable energy investments since 2010.

“Altogether, the renewable energy projects we’ve invested in are capable of generating 2 gigawatts of power,” Google said on its blog.

Electricity  generated through the Spinning Spur wind farm has been contracted to SPS, a utility that serves Texas and New Mexico, Google said.