Duke Energy Carolinas, Google to collaborate on 61MW PV plant in North Carolina

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The 61MW project will help provide energy for Google’s new expanded data center in Lenoir, North Carolina. Image: Google

Global technology leader Google and renewable energy developer Duke Energy Carolinas are teaming up to develop a 61MW PV project in North Carolina that is set to help account for a portion of the power demand for Google’s new data centre in Lenoir.

The solar installation will be developed in Rutherford County in Duke Energy Carolinas' service area. As part of a power purchase agreement (PPA) with the Rutherford Farms, LLC, solar project, Duke Energy will gain power that will be used to meet new energy demands at Google’s expanded data centre.

Enrolling in Duke Energy Carolinas’ Green Source Rider programme gave Google the opportunity to utilise renewable energy sources for a portion of the energy funneled to its expanded data centre. As part of the programme, Duke Energy and Google signed off on the specific project and added costs linked with energy from the facility. Other Duke Energy customers will be responsible for paying for the project.

Rob Caldwell, senior vice president of distributed energy resources at Duke Energy, said: “Google was a driver behind Duke Energy seeking approval for the Green Source Rider. Having Google as the first company to publicly announce its participation is extremely satisfying. We believe this will lead to similar announcements in the future.”

Gary Demasi, Google's head of data centre energy and location strategy, added: “We've agreed to purchase 1.2GW of renewable power globally and we're working to power 100% of our operations with renewables. As we pursue that goal, this is a really big moment for us and we're thrilled to have created this programme with Duke Energy. Not only does it enable us to purchase renewable energy for our North Carolina operations, it will empower others in the state to do the same.”

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