In order to increase geothermal electricity for Nevada data centers, Google and NV Energy collaborate.

This collaboration demonstrates a dependable substitute for weather-dependent wind and solar power, as geothermal energy generates around 10% of Nevada’s electricity.

Google has announced a partnership with NV Energy, a Berkshire Hathaway electric utility, to significantly increase the use of geothermal energy to power its Nevada data centers. The agreement, pending approval from state utility regulators, is a major step in Google’s mission to operate entirely on clean energy by 2030. The deal will enhance Google’s use of carbon-free geothermal electricity from 3.5 megawatts to 115 megawatts within six years. NV Energy will collaborate with Fervo Energy, an advanced geothermal developer, which has been supplying Google with geothermal power since 2021. That partnership includes developing a new rate structure called the Clean Transition Tariff, designed to facilitate similar agreements in other regions.

The deal comes as tech giants like Google, Amazon, and Microsoft seek sustainable energy sources to power their growing data centers, which are essential for supporting technologies such as AI and cloud computing. Currently, 64% of Google’s global operations are powered by carbon-free energy, with a focus on wind and solar. However, geothermal energy provides a more reliable alternative, as it is not dependent on weather conditions. The partnership with NV Energy represents a new approach for companies with significant and growing electricity demands to achieve their climate goals within regulated power markets. In these markets, companies must purchase power from the local utility rather than directly from a power generator, complicating efforts to secure entirely clean energy sources. Duke Energy, which operates in regulated states, announced a similar agreement with Google, Microsoft, and Amazon recently.

Geothermal energy, which harnesses naturally occurring underground heat to produce renewable electricity, accounts for about 10% of Nevada’s total electricity generation, the highest proportion of any U.S. state, according to the Energy Information Administration. Google’s collaboration with NV Energy and Fervo Energy demonstrates a strategic move towards more sustainable and reliable energy sources, contributing to the broader effort of reducing carbon emissions and combating climate change.

Why is that relevant?

Environmental Impact: Google is lowering its carbon footprint and moving closer to its aim of running totally on clean energy by 2030 by greatly boosting its use of geothermal energy.
Energy Reliability: Unlike wind and solar energy, which are reliant on the weather, geothermal energy offers a steady and continuous power source.
Industry Leadership: By encouraging creative strategies to meet sustainable energy targets in regulated power markets, the collaboration creates a model that other businesses can emulate.
Economic Benefits: Building geothermal energy projects can improve Nevada’s energy infrastructure, provide jobs, and strengthen local economies.

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