Google taps Engie for 24/7 power supply backed by renewables and energy storage

Google is using renewables and energy storage solutions to power its data centres across the world, including this facility in Belgium. Image: Google.

French utility giant Engie has signed a 24/7 power supply agreement with Google for 140MW of carbon-free energy to its operations in Germany in an arrangement the companies have called a “first-of-its-kind”.

Under the three-year agreement, Engie will construct a renewables portfolio of solar and wind to supply Google with enough round-the-clock energy to ensure that 80% of its German operations are carbon-free by 2022. Google has set targets of all its campuses and data centres worldwide being carbon-free by 2030.

Through Engie, Google will purchase electricity from 23 renewable energy projects across five German states. The projects will either be new plants or existing assets that will see their life extended. Google said it was investing €1 billion (US$1.18 billion) in digital infrastructure and clean energy in Germany by 2030.

“This is a first-of-a-kind in Europe where a company is guaranteeing carbon-free power supply 24/7 on an annual basis from solar and wind generation,” said Engie in a company media release.

In addition to assembling the assets, the utility will also provide energy management services including sourcing of residual supply, balancing pool management and grid management.

“We selected ENGIE based on its expertise in the field of decarbonization and its ability to transform how clean energy is supplied”, said Marc Oman, senior lead of Data Centre Energy and Infrastructure at Google.

“The Group can ensure 24/7 renewable energy supply either by building assets or by sourcing the power from different existing plants thanks to its global energy management activities,” said Paulo Almirante, senior executive vice president for Renewable and Global Energy Management activities at ENGIE.