In 2013 Google proposed a new way to purchase renewable energy for large energy users. Apparently Duke Energy was listening. Yesterday (Nov. 24) the companies announced Google will be the first customer in its Green Source Rider program. Under which Google will pay for the power from a new 61 megawatt solar farm that won’t impact Duke Energy’s other customers.
"Google was a driver behind Duke Energy seeking approval for the Green Source Rider," said Rob Caldwell, senior vice president, Distributed Energy Resources. "Having Google as the first company to publicly announce its participation is extremely satisfying. We believe this will lead to similar announcements in the future."
The power from the solar farm in Rutherford County will be used to power part of Google's expanded data center in Lenoir, N.C. Duke and Google agreed on the project and to pay for the additional costs of the facility. The companies began working on making the project happen in 2013.
“We were an early advocate of such programs and are pleased to see they have been adopted in 10 states, from Virginia to Washington,” Gary Demasi, Google’s head of Data Center Energy and Location Strategy division, wrote on the Google Green Blog.
When Google proposed working with utilities to create a “renewable energy tariff” it proposed, among other things, that the purchaser receive all renewable energy credits to ensure that all the credits are retired. By purchasing all the power from a project under the tariff agreement it also ensures that the costs of a project aren’t incurred by the utility.
“By working closely with providers like Duke, we're now able to benefit from North Carolina's emerging solar energy industry and pave the way for other big customers to do the same,” Demasi explained. “This is the first time that we're purchasing solar power in enough volume to power one of our data centers and it takes us another step towards our goal to eventually power 100 percent of our operations with renewable energy.”
Demasi said the company already has sourced 1.2 gigawatts of renewable energy to power its data centers across the world. But added that the company still has more work to do.
It’s work with Duke Energy and other utilities may be a way that it can extend that work even farther by encouraging other companies to do the same.Tweet