January 23, 2020: Multi-billion dollar company Google has agreed to work with public Nevada utility NV Energy to install 350MW of solar PV and 250MW to 280MW of battery storage. This, the firms say, make it the world’s biggest battery-backed solar deal for a corporate customer, market analyst S&P Global Platts reported on January 7.
The installation will power a new $600 million data centre near Las Vegas, and will be installed in ‘one or more hybrid projects’.
“Underlying project development agreements remain under negotiation, with solar-plus-storage resources expected to begin operation in the second half of 2023,” S&P said.
Operations are expected to begin in the second half of 2023.
In 2012 Google said it was committed to matching its entire electricity consumption with renewable energy, which it achieved in 2017, making it the largest corporate buyer of renewable energy in the world.
The tech giant, a subsidiary of the Alphabet conglomerate, says it is aiming for ‘24/7 renewable energy’, although according to S&P Global the battery-backed solar resources will still not eliminate Google’s reliance on fossil fuels: “the contract price also covers NV Energy’s cost of transporting natural gas for generating facilities supplying power to Google’s data centre,” it says.
“NV Energy proposes to supply Google with wholesale market energy during an interim period before the battery-backed solar resources come online.”
NV Energy also has a contract with 8minute Solar Energy to operate a 475MW/540MWh solar project at the Southern Bighorn Solar & Storage Center, also in Nevada.
Announced in June 2019, it also touted as one of the largest solar-plus-storage projects in the world. It was approved in December by the Public Utilities Commission, and is planned to be operational by the end of 2023.