Commercial, Sourcing Renewables - December 7, 2020
Google looks to intelligent computing for 24/7 RE supply
As Google pursues its new 24/7 clean energy goal, the tech company released its plans to design a machine learning platform that aligns its operations with the availability of renewable energy resources on the grid.
The company described during a National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) panel its plan to use “intelligent computing” design to explore new technologies and purchasing options, including the optimization of its wind energy assets and procurement of additional generation, Utility Dive reported. This move reflects a potential trend in corporate energy strategy of moving toward the wholesale market as companies focus on eliminating, rather than offsetting, carbon emissions.
Currently, 80% of Google’s offsite corporate procurement takes place in regions with access to competitive wholesale markets. Having access to competitive energy markets will be a big part of how Google achieves its energy goals, Utility Dive said.
While Google previously achieved carbon neutrality in 2007 and in 2017 matched 100% of its energy consumption with the purchase of clean energy, the company still draws power from coal and gas sources 39% of the time on an hourly basis due to the variability of renewable sources. By scheduling power-intensive computing operations when the cleanest energy is available on the grid, the company is pursuing a goal of sourcing carbon-free energy at all times of the day.
The company is currently developing software that will allow it to do just that, in addition to optimizing its wind generation assets by aligning company operations with external data like weather reports.