Google is using a time-based energy-matching platform from Flexidao to help ensure energy it uses is backed by green energy it has paid to produce.

Flexidao was already working with Google in Europe to match power purchase agreements (PPAs) and other renewable energy contracts to the actual times when the search giant used energy in its data centers. Now, the collaboration is expanding to North America, Latin America, and Asia-Pacific.

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– Flexidao

Large operators have used PPAs and other energy contracts to offset their energy use as a way to reach net-zero. However, renewable sources like wind and solar generate power intermittently, while data center power demand is constant, so these PPAs do not match energy use.

24x7 PPAs ensure that any clean energy paid for is matched by metered electricity used by a large consumer. Google has announced it will move to 24/7 PPAs and Microsoft has also been have been working on the idea, going back to a deal with Vattenfall in Sweden.

Both Microsoft and Google have invested in Flexidao, which uses the blockchain to create time-based energy attribute certificates (T-EACs) which follow the international EnergyTag standard.

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DCD Podcast 13: Simone Accornero of Flexidao – Simone Accornero | FlexiDAO

These T-EACs are an extension of renewable energy certificates (RECs) and have been described by Flexidao CEO Somone Accornero as "RECs on steroids" in a DCD podcast.

Google has been using Flexidao's CFE (carbon free energy) Inventory Tools since 2021 in a pilot across Denmark, Ireland, and the Netherlands, to match hourly metered data on electricity consumption and generation from clean electricity contracts.

For Google to expand that globally, Flexidao will streamline data collection by identifying sources for electricity data from national data hubs, utility systems, and grid operators. Flexidao has also integrated with Google's data warehouse BigQuery and is working with the ElectricityMaps portal to import hourly CO2 emission factors into the software.

This is designed to automate recurring tasks of data collection, management, and verification, to centralize the data in one platform, and to show periods when Google has to rely on carbon-intensive electricity because no low-carbon sources are available.

“When we set out to achieve our 24/7 carbon-free energy goal, we knew that it would require a wide range of advanced tools and technologies," said Savannah Goodman, data and software climate solutions lead at Google.

"Flexidao has been a key collaborator on our journey, first piloting a digital solution to enable hourly clean energy validation for our facilities and now bringing this solution to scale. They are helping us accelerate our electricity management and verification process and provide us with an end-to-end solution for 24/7 CFE reporting.”

24/7 PPAs are intended to stimulate measures such as long term energy storage which can hold energy generated outside of times of high demand.

Google and Microsoft have both joined the GC Trading Alliance, a marketplace for T-EACs set up by Level Ten Energy.