Google partners with NV Energy for geothermal to power data centers

Google has partnered with Berkshire Hathaway’s electric utility, NV Energy, to supply its Nevada data centers with advanced geothermal electricity. This agreement, pending approval from state utility regulators, will increase the amount of carbon-free geothermal electricity available to Google’s operations from 3.5 megawatts to 115 megawatts over approximately six years.

This deal is part of a broader trend where leading technology companies seek substantial amounts of electricity to power their expanding data centers, essential for supporting technologies like generative artificial intelligence and cloud computing.

The collaboration supports Google’s objective to operate entirely on clean energy by 2030.

In regulated power markets, where companies must purchase electricity from the local utility rather than directly from power generators, this partnership with NV Energy represents a novel approach for companies with significant electricity demands and climate goals.

The agreement included Google’s involvement in NV Energy’s power generation planning and the development of a rate structure known as the Clean Transition Tariff, which Google hopes to replicate nationwide.

To enable this deal, NV Energy signed a power purchase agreement with advanced geothermal developer Fervo Energy. Fervo Energy, having entered into a pilot program with Google in 2021, currently supplies Google with 3.5 megawatts of power.

Unlike solar and wind energy, which rely on the availability of sunlight and wind, geothermal energy provides a stable and reliable clean power source. Geothermal energy, which utilizes natural underground heat to generate renewable electricity, contributes to about 10% of Nevada’s total electricity generation—the highest percentage of any U.S. state, according to the Energy Information Administration.

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