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LONDON, Dec 16 (Reuters) - Royal Dutch Shell signed an agreement on Friday to buy all of the electricity generated by a Dutch offshore wind farm in which it owns a 50 percent stake as part of its drive to expand in renewable energy.
Offshore Wind Farm Egmond aan Zee opened in 2006 and is the Netherlands' first large-scale offshore wind farm. It is jointly operated by Shell and Nuon Energy, part of Vattenfall.
Shell will buy all of the electricity it generates beginning on Jan. 1 2017 for five years, a spokeswoman said.
"This agreement allows us to develop our expertise in wind management as well as to establish Shell Energy Europe as an active participant in the renewable electricity market in Europe," said Jonathan McCloy, general manager for northwest Europe at Shell's energy trading arm.
The company said it would supply the electricity to industrial and large-scale commercial energy users.
Large businesses are turning to renewable energy purchase agreements to ensure more climate friendly electricity procurement.
Google, whose energy costs to cool its data centres are huge, is the world's largest corporate buyer of renewable energy and is on target to meet all of its electricity needs using renewable energy next year. (Reporting by Karolin Schaps; editing by Jason Neely)