Google has announced a new power purchase agreement (PPA) in Ireland that brings the company one step closer to achieving its goal of running on 24/7 carbon-free energy. The agreement, with renewable energy company Power Capital Renewable Energy, will provide 58 megawatts (MW) of new-to-the-grid capacity from the Tullabeg Solar Farm. This will enable the construction of a new renewable energy project that will contribute to the decarbonization of Ireland’s electricity system and Google’s operations. With this PPA, Google’s offices and data centres in Ireland are projected to reach 60% carbon-free energy by 2025 on an hourly basis.
Google has been committed to global renewable energy purchasing for many years and has signed over 35 wind and solar agreements in Europe since 2010, totaling nearly 3 gigawatts of clean energy generation capacity. These renewable energy deals, combined with Google’s carbon-intelligent computing platform, allow the company to operate cleaner data centres and offices. The platform shifts compute tasks to times and locations where renewable energy sources are most abundant.
Achieving 24/7 carbon-free energy is a complex and challenging goal that requires a diverse and local portfolio of carbon-free energy resources to match electricity demand every hour, on the same grid. Google is the first company of its size to aim for 24/7 carbon-free energy and sees its efforts as part of a larger goal of scaling new energy technologies and products to enable grids and other consumers to decarbonize.
The PPA in Ireland is a significant step towards Google’s carbon-free energy matching ambition, as solar generation complements the existing wind generation on the Irish grid. By increasing the extent to which Google’s data centres and offices in Ireland are matched with local, carbon-free energy sources, the company is making progress towards its 24/7 goal.
In addition to contributing to Google’s carbon reduction efforts, this PPA also supports Ireland’s renewable energy targets. The Irish government aims to meet 80% of the national electricity demand with renewable energy and has a sub-target for corporate electricity consumers to meet 15% of the country’s electricity demand by 2030 through corporate PPAs. This project brings Ireland closer to achieving these targets.
Google’s long-term energy deal in Ireland comes as the company celebrates its 20th anniversary in the country. It follows other recent announcements, such as the Bolands Mills development and The Google Safety Engineering Center for Content Responsibility.
Overall, Google’s commitment to 24/7 carbon-free energy is a groundbreaking initiative that will contribute to global efforts to combat climate change. The company’s efforts to transition its operations to cleaner sources of power through renewable energy procurement, technology innovation, and policy advocacy demonstrate its commitment to sustainability and its role as a leader in the renewable energy transition.