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Google campus in Mountain View, California. Photo: Amy Osborne/AFP/Getty Images

Google on Thursday announced a 1.6 gigawatt package of renewable power deals in the U.S., South America and Europe that the tech behemoth is calling the "biggest corporate purchase of renewable energy in history."

Why it matters: The announcement signals how buys from large companies, including several tech giants, are becoming an increasingly important driver of solar and wind power growth. It also arrives the same day that Amazon vowed to power its facilities and operations with 100% renewables by 2030 as part of wider new climate pledges.

The big picture: The growth of corporate solar and wind purchasing is driven by falling power costs and pressure on companies — especially huge power-users — to be more climate-friendly.

  • Another data point: This week, the Solar Energy Industries Association and the consultancy Wood Mackenzie said in a report that offsite corporate procurement is the "main driver" of 17% of U.S. utility-scale solar projects announced this year.

What they're saying: Google CEO Sundar Pichai said in a blog post that the 18 separate deals will boost their worldwide wind and solar portfolio to nearly 5.5 gigwatts — "equivalent to the capacity of a million solar rooftops."

  • Pichai said the package meets their "additionality" criteria, which requires purchase commitments that actually spur construction of new renewable power projects.

But, but, but: Big tech players, while boosting renewables buys, face criticism from activists over their cloud, AI and other business lines tailored specifically to oil industry clients.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Kaine, Collins' censure resolution could bar Trump from holding office again

Sen. Tim Kaine (center) and Sen. Susan Collins (right). Photo: Andrew Harnik/Pool via Getty Images

Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) are forging ahead with a draft proposal to censure former President Trump, and are considering introducing the resolution on the Senate floor next week.

Why it matters: Senators are looking for a way to condemn Trump on the record as it becomes increasingly unlikely Democrats will obtain the 17 Republican votes needed to gain a conviction, Axios Alayna Treene writes. "I think it’s important for the Senate's leadership to understand that there are alternatives," Kaine told CNN on Wednesday.

Stark reminder for America's corporate leaders

Rosalind "Roz" Brewer is about to become only the second Black woman to permanently lead a Fortune 500 company. She starts as Walgreens CEO on March 15.

Why it matters: It's a stark reminder of how far corporate America's top decision-makers have to go during an unprecedented push by politicians, employees and even a stock exchange to diversify their top ranks.

Ina Fried, author of Login
Updated 2 hours ago - Technology

Apple's quarterly sales top $100 billion for first time

Credit: Apple

Spurred by strong sales of the latest iPhones, Apple reported it took in a record $111 billion in revenue for the three months ended Dec. 31, as the company crushed expectations.

Why it matters: The move showed even a pandemic didn't dull demand for Apple's latest smartphones.