AES is to supply Google with renewable energy for its Northern Virginia data centers.

The company has signed a contract to supply the search giant’s Virginia-based data centers with 24x7 carbon-free energy under a 10-year supply deal, starting from later this year.

Under the deal, AES will become the sole supplier of the data centers' carbon-free energy needs on an annual basis, and will ‘help ensure that the energy powering those data centers will be 90 percent carbon-free when measured on an hourly basis.’

AES said it has assembled a 500MW portfolio from its own renewable energy projects and third parties, which adds up to $600 million of investment, and will combine wind, solar, hydro, and battery storage resources to be developed or contracted by AES.

“Last year, Google set an ambitious sustainability goal of committing to 100 percent 24x7 carbon-free energy by 2030. Today, we are proud that through our collaboration with Google, we are making 24x7 carbon-free energy a reality for their data centers in Virginia,” said Andrés Gluski, AES president and CEO. “This first-of-its-kind solution, which we co-created with Google, will set a new sustainability standard for companies and organizations seeking to eliminate carbon from their energy supply.”

For breaking data center news, opinions, and features subscribe to DCD's newsletter

Google adds 500MW to its renewable portfolio

Google has two data centers in Loudoun County. The company recently released a tool showing the average hourly mix of renewable energy at its data centers, with its Virginia region using around 40 percent renewable energy per hour on average.

“Not only is this partnership with AES an important step towards achieving Google's 24/7 carbon-free energy goal, it also lays a blueprint for other companies looking to decarbonize their own operations,” says Michael Terrell, Director of Energy at Google. “Our hope is that this model can be replicated to accelerate the clean energy transition, both for companies and, eventually, for power grids.”

The company recently announced it had matched 100 percent of its global electricity use with purchases of renewable energy for the fourth year in 2020.

“We’ve signed agreements to buy power from more than 50 renewable energy projects, with a combined capacity of 5.5 gigawatts,” said Urs Hölzle, SVP of cloud infrastructure at Google.