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Google Partners with Duke Energy to Power Data Center by a 61MW PV Plant

published: 2015-11-25 18:18

Google sets a goal to power all of its operations with renewable energy, and the company move one more step toward the goal as its Lenoir, North Carolina data center will be benefit from Duke Energy Carolina’s Green Source Rider program – a 61MW solar power project has been secured for powering the Google data center.

The Lenoir data center was announced by Google in 2013 along with a proposal to operate fully by renewable energy. Google signed an electricity supply with Duke Energy for its demand to renewable energy, and helps the electricity provider secure the 61MW solar project construction.

Under a power purchase agreement between Duke Energy and the Rutherford Farms, LLC, Duke Energy will construct the 61MW project in Rutherford County in Duke Energy Carolina’s service territory. Google will purchase enough volume of power form the solar project to operate the Lenoir data center as soon as the project is commenced operation.

"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."

Duke Energy’s Green Source Rider program allows companies to buy large amounts of renewable energy directly from their utilities without additional costs to other ratepayers. Google was an early advocate of such programs and has enrolled in the program, meaning that the global internet enterprise can meet a portion of the power demand from the Lenoir data center by solar power generated by Duke Energy’s facilities.

Google announced to invest in US$600 million to expand the Lenoir data center in 2013, and at the same time launched the collaboration with Duke Energy to establish the Green Source Rider program.

“To date, we’ve committed to purchase 1.2GW of renewable energy under long term contracts globally,” read Google Green Blog. “The impact on emissions is the same as taking 590,000 cars off the road.”

Google believes such collaboration will encourage similar moves within other companies around the world. Gary Demasi, Google’s head of Data Center Energy and Location Strategy, said, “As we pursue that goal, this is a really big moment for us and we're thrilled to have created this program with Duke Energy. Not only does it enable us to purchase renewable energy for our North Carolina operations, it will empower others in the state to do the same.”

(Photo Credit: Duke Energy)

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