Google announced its "first direct investment in a utility-scale renewable energy project"—$38.8m to two wind farms in North Dakota that generate 169.5 megawatts of power, enough to keep the lights on in 55,000 homes.

Though $40 million is relative pennies in the big Google bucket, it's been known for some time that Google is interested in matters of energy, priding itself on its green data centers and creating a Google Energy subsidiary.

The blog post detailing the investment promises that the company is always looking for "more opportunities to invest in renewable energy projects that use the latest technologies to push the envelope for delivering low cost clean energy," so in all likelihood this isn't the last we've heard of Google's energy dabblings. [GoogleBlog]

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