Silicon Valley Clean Energy and Google reached a 10-year agreement in which the community choice aggregator will supply two of the company’s offices in Silicon Valley with round-the-clock renewable energy.
Starting in January, SVCE will provide wind, solar, geothermal, battery energy storage and other carbon-free supplies to match the energy demand at Google’s Mountain View and Sunnyvale offices across nearly all hours of the year—at least 92% of the time–instead of on an annual basis. Small hydropower, which qualifies as renewable under state law, may be added, SVCE said. Nuclear power will not be included.
The amount of the offices’ load was not revealed.
Matching hourly demand with carbon-free energy all day and night in place of annually matters because the grid is heavily fueled by inexpensive solar energy during the day, but relies on dirty and more costly fossil fuels in the evening and winter hours. The time of the grid’s greatest vulnerability is when the sun sets.
“By focusing on a 24/7 supply metric Google and SVCE are incentivized to add new renewable resources that can provide clean energy to the grid when it is most needed (versus adding more solar to the grid during the middle of the day when the grid is already the cleanest),” Don Bray, SVCE director of energy services and community relations, told Current.
SVCE also will dynamically manage the agreement, including by tapping into Google’s onsite thermal or battery storage to optimize use of these carbon-free resources and to lower costs, Bray said.
Google also plans more investments in the electrification of buildings and transportation, as well as onsite solar and storage, at its campuses. “Through this agreement, Google will also be supporting ongoing SVCE program investments that serve the community,” according to Bray.
SVCE’s round-the-clock carbon-free energy service with Google is “a model for how large commercial energy customers and energy providers can work together to further advance clean, carbon-free electricity on the grid, coupled with electrification efforts in the local community,” said Girish Balachandran, SVCE CEO.
Google is aiming for 100% clean energy 24 hours a day, seven days a week at all its locations by 2030.
“This agreement with SVCE allows us to both decarbonize our energy supply at Google, while also giving SVCE the opportunity to test innovative strategies to decarbonize all their customers,” said Asim Tahir, Google’s director for Energy & Carbon.