Google and AES announce $600m clean energy deal in Virginia

05 May 2021 | Antony Savvas

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AES has signed an agreement to supply 500MW of clean power to Google's Virginia-based data centres under a ten-year supply contract.

AES says it will help ensure the energy powering Google's facilities is “90% carbon-free when measured on an hourly basis”.

The supplier will become the sole provider of the data centres' carbon-free energy needs, sourcing energy from a portfolio of wind, solar, hydro and battery storage resources to be developed or contracted by AES.

The agreement sees the power being supplied “later in 2021”, said AES, and contributes to meeting Google's previously announced goal of running its business on 100% carbon-free energy on an hourly basis by 2030.

Andrés Gluski, AES president and CEO, said: “This solution, which we co-created with Google, will set a new sustainability standard for companies and organisations seeking to eliminate carbon from their energy supply.”

“Not only is this partnership an important step towards achieving Google's carbon-free energy goal, it also lays a blueprint for other companies looking to decarbonise their own operations,” said Michael Terrell, director of energy at Google.

AES has assembled the 500MW energy supply portfolio from a combination of its own renewable energy projects and those of third-party developers. The portfolio is expected to require around $600 million in investment and will generate 1,200 jobs - both permanent and in construction - said the two partners.

Last month, Amazon announced nine new “utility-scale” wind and solar energy projects in North America and Europe. The power generated will help it power its offices, depots, stores and AWS data centres internationally with certified renewable energy.