Google, which only competes with Facebook for the title of the largest corporate renewable energy buyer in the world, today announced a new large round of renewable energy investments, claiming it to be "the largest corporate renewable energy purchase in history. " The company said it has entered into 18 new energy deals that will together lead to 1600 MW of renewable energy.
Over the last two years, the company has been buying more electricity from renewable sources than it is using worldwide, as in its data centers and offices. However, due to the complex logistics of energy procurement, much of the energy that actually feeds Google and its parent Alphabet is non-renewable. A change that is an extremely heavy lift that the company has been working on for at least three years.
"To maximize our impact, all our recent deals meet the stringent 'additionality' criteria we have established for our energy purchases," Google CEO Sundar Pichai said in a blog post today. "This means we do not buy energy from existing wind and solar power plants, but instead make long-term purchasing commitments that lead to the development of new projects. The provision of additional energy from renewable sources in the networks where we consume energy is a critical component of the pursuit. 24×7 carbon free energy for all our operations. "
New deals span the globe and include facilities in the US, Chile and Europe, According to Pichai, the added capacity will boost Google's global wind portfolio and solar agreements with more than 40 percent up to 5,500 MW, which is equivalent to one million solar roofs and enough power to power Washington, the United Kingdom, or Lithuania or Uruguay.
In the US, deals will add 720 MW of solar your facilities in Texas and both Carolina, which will double the capacity of Google's current global solar portfolio, 125MW of renewable energy in South America will be supplied to the network that supplies its data center in Chile. Details of new facilities in Europe will be announced
"These renewable energy purchases are not only different in size," Pichai said. "So far, most of our renewable energy purchases in the US have been driven by wind, but the decreasing cost of solar (decreases with pov that of 80 percent over the last decade) has made solar use increasingly cost effective. Meanwhile, the Chile Deal marks the first time we will buy energy in a hybrid technology deal that combines solar and wind. Because winds often blow at different times than the sun shines, pairing them will allow us to compare our Chilean data center with carbon-free electricity for most of each day. "
Google also announced two new grants to organizations working to expand the availability of renewable energy for commercial enterprises.
" We will provide a $ 500,000 grant to the Alliance for Renewable Energy Buyers in the United States. and a $ 200,000 grant to RE-Source in Europe, "Pichai said. "These grants will help fund the development of new purchasing models, provide training and resources for consumers, and allow greater access to clean power."