• In Wake of Production Tax Credit Extension, Google Invests In Wind Farm in Texas
  • January 16, 2013 | Authors: Peter S. Glaser; Kevin C. Greene; Daniel L. Larcamp; Clifford S. Sikora; Lara L. Skidmore
  • Law Firms: Troutman Sanders LLP - Washington Office ; Troutman Sanders LLP - Atlanta Office ; Troutman Sanders LLP - Washington Office ; Troutman Sanders LLP - Portland Office
  • On January 9, 2013, Google announced its approximately $200 million equity investment in the Spinning Spur Wind Project, a 161 megawatt, 70 turbine wind facility built by EDF Renewable Energy in Oldham County, near Amarillo, Texas. The energy created at Spinning Spur is contracted to Southwestern Public Service Company, which primarily serves customers in Texas and New Mexico.

    In its announcement, Google stated that projects like Spinning Spur “make for smart investments” and highlighted that this investment and others like it offer “attractive returns relative to the risks.” Google also noted that it is the first investor in an EDF Renewable Energy project that is not a financial institution.

    Google’s investment in Spinning Spur follows a one-year extension of the Production Tax Credit (“PTC”). The PTC extension is part of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (the “Act”), signed into law on January 3, 2013. In addition to the one-year extension, the Act also allows certain renewable facilities (including wind) to qualify for the PTC if construction begins before January 1, 2014, instead of the prior language, which stated that a facility must be “placed in service” by the deadline.

    Spinning Spur is the tenth renewable energy investment by Google since 2010, and as indicated in its January 9th announcement, several of these investments became operational in 2012.