The AES Corporation has signed an agreement to supply the electricity to power Google’s Virginia-based data centers with 24/7 carbon-free energy under a 10-year supply contract.
AES will help ensure that the energy powering those data centers will be 90% carbon-free when measured on an hourly basis. AES will be the sole supplier of the data centers’ carbon-free energy needs on an annual basis, sourcing energy from a portfolio of wind, solar, hydro and battery storage resources to be developed or contracted by AES. The agreement will start supply later in 2021 and is an important step in meeting Google’s previously announced goal to run its business on 100% carbon-free energy on an hourly basis by 2030.
“Last year, Google set an ambitious sustainability goal of committing to 100% 24/7 carbon-free energy by 2030. We are proud that through our collaboration with Google, we are making 24/7 carbon-free energy a reality for their data centers in Virginia,” said Andrés Gluski, AES president and chief executive officer. “This first-of-its-kind solution, which we co-created with Google, will set a new sustainability standard for companies and organizations seeking to eliminate carbon from their energy supply.”
Michael Terrell, director of energy at Google, said, “Not only is this partnership with AES an important step towards achieving Google’s 24/7 carbon-free energy goal, it also lays a blueprint for other companies looking to decarbonize their own operations. Our hope is that this model can be replicated to accelerate the clean energy transition, both for companies and, eventually, for power grids.”
AES assembled the 500-MW portfolio from a combination of its own renewable energy projects and those of third-party developers, which were selected, sized and contracted to meet Google’s energy needs across a number of considerations, including cost efficiency, additionality and carbon-free energy profile. The portfolio assembled is expected to require about $600 million of investment and generate 1,200 jobs, both permanent and construction, in the host communities. These efforts will greatly simplify Google’s energy procurement and management at a competitive price while decarbonizing Google’s load and the broader PJM grid, according to a press release.
This supply agreement follows on the strategic alliance AES and Google formed in November 2019 to leverage Google Cloud technology to accelerate innovation in energy distribution and management and advance the adoption of clean energy.
AES Corp. owns and operates power generation in 14 nations.