Google, which only competes with Facebook for the title of the world's largest renewable energy buyer, announced today another huge round of renewable energy investments, claiming it is "the largest renewable energy company in history." The company said that 18 new energy agreements have been signed, which together will result in 1,600 MW of power produced from renewable sources.
Over the past two years, the company has purchased more power from renewable resources than it uses worldwide, both in data centers and offices. However, due to the complicated logistics around energy projects, much of the energy that actually drives Google and its parents Alphabet is not renewable. Changing this is an extremely heavy lift that the company has been working on for at least three years.
"To ensure maximum impact, our latest offerings meet the stringent criteria of additionality we long ago proclaimed for energy purchases," said Google CEO Sundar Pichai blog published today. "This means that we do not buy power from existing wind and solar parks, but instead make long-term purchase commitments that result in the development of new projects. Bringing incremental renewable energy to the networks where we use energy is a critical component of pursuing 24×7 carbon-free energy. for all our operations. "
The new offerings span the world and include facilities in the United States, Chile and Europe. According to Pichai, the additional capacity will increase Google's worldwide portfolio of wind and solar contracts by more than 40 percent, to 5,500 MW, which equals one million solar roofs and enough energy to power Washington, DC or Lithuania. or Uruguay.
In the United States, deals will add 720MW from Texas solar and both Carolinas, which will double the capacity of Google's current global solar portfolio. In South America, 125MW of renewable energy will flow into the grid that supplies its data center in Chile. Details of new facilities in Europe will be made available on Friday.
"These renewable energy purchases are not just known for size," Pichai said. "So far, most of our renewable energy purchases in the US have been wind-driven, but the declining cost of solar energy (more than 80 percent over the past decade) has made it more cost-effective to use the sun. Meanwhile, the Chile agreement marks the first time we buy power in a hybrid technology agreement that combines solar and wind. Because the wind often blows at times other than the sun shines, pairing them will allow us to match our Chilean data center with carbon-free power for a larger portion of each day. "
Google also announced two new grants for organizations working to expand renewable energy availability for commercial businesses.
"We provide a $ 500,000 grant to the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance 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 provide more widespread access to clean power."