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Google signs long-term PPA for 800 photovoltaic power plants

published: 2024-05-29 17:59

Japan's Itochu Corporation has signed a long-term power purchase agreement with Google, and will build solar power plants in multiple locations in Japan to supply Google data centers, helping Google achieve its renewable energy goals.

According to the power purchase agreement, Itochu's venture capital company Clean Energy Connection (CEC) will build 800 photovoltaic power stations for Google in multiple power grids. The total installed capacity of these small photovoltaic power stations is about 72MW, and it is expected to be put into operation before September 2026.

Shinji Okuyama, Vice President of Google Japan, said: “We have set an ambitious goal to achieve a 24-hour carbon-free energy contract on every grid we operate. This power purchase agreement brings us one step closer to this goal. The project will help us build an aggregated grid of small solar power plants across multiple grid regions to support our Inzai data center.”

CEC currently has 1,200 non-FIT low-voltage solar photovoltaic power stations and plans to introduce about 5,000 solar photovoltaic power stations with a total installed capacity of 500MW in Japan by fiscal year 2025.

Itochu Corporation invested in CEC in November 2021. Earlier this year, Itochu Corporation announced the completion of three large ground photovoltaic power stations in the United States through its wholly owned subsidiary Tyr Energy Development Renewables.

Google is also another AI giant to invest in solar power supply in Japan after Microsoft and Amazon. In order to meet the power consumption needs of AI running in data centers and the 2030 clean energy goals at the same time, Google has signed agreements with several Japanese renewable energy suppliers to purchase clean electricity and build solar power plants dedicated to Google data centers.

As the technical competition for large AI models enters a deep stage, the industry has begun to turn its attention to the energy field required for model training. Sam Altman, founder of OpenAI, said at a public event: "The future of artificial intelligence depends on breakthroughs in clean energy." Nvidia founder Huang Renxun pointed out: "The end of AI is photovoltaics and energy storage. Don't just think about computing power. If you only think about computers, you need to burn 14 Earth's energy." Goldman Sachs said that as data centers continue to expand, the power grid must also expand, energy sources must be diversified to make full use of natural gas, solar energy and nuclear energy, and infrastructure must also expand to support the growing power grid.


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