The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.

Google Calls for More Renewable Energy Purchasing Options, Supports Duke Energy Proposal

Google Calls for More Renewable Energy Purchasing Options, Supports Duke Energy Proposal

Google Inc., which has invested more than $1 billion in renewable energy projects and buys wind- generated electricity, said utilities should offer large customers more options for using clean power.

“What’s needed is a new tariff structure that allows companies to request and purchase renewable energy directly from their utilities,” the Mountain View, California-based company said in a statement today.

Google, the operator of the world’s largest Internet search engine, is funding projects ranging from rooftop solar power at homes to desert solar-thermal systems and two of the world’s largest wind farms. It also buys wind power from two facilities in Oklahoma and one in Iowa and has installed solar panels on its corporate headquarters.

Each of those investments has limitations and “can be cumbersome,” particularly the power purchase agreements, because Google resells the electricity on the wholesale market after retiring the associated green-energy credits, according to the Google statement.

“While the renewable facility output is not being used directly to power a Google data center, the PPA arrangement assures that additional renewable generation sufficient to power the data center came on line in the area,” Google said. “The downsides are that these PPAs require us to actively manage purchases and sales of power on the wholesale energy markets, which can be a complex process,” it said.

Duke’s Program

More than 60 percent of Global Fortune 500 companies have renewable energy or greenhouse gas reduction targets, though utilities aren’t doing enough to satisfy demand, Google said. “Even though companies want renewable power and are willing to pay for it, the product is not being offered,” it said.

Duke Energy Corp., the largest U.S. utility owner, is developing a program in North Carolina that would sell clean energy directly to large customers that opt into the service without raising prices for other ratepayers. The proposal will be filed with state regulators within 90 days, and Google plans to participate, the company said in an e-mailed statement announcing a $600 million expansion of its data center in Lenoir, North Carolina.

“We’re really trying to expand ways to drive more investment in renewable power, and this is a mechanism for doing that,” Michael Terrell, Google’s senior policy counsel for energy and sustainability, said yesterday by telephone. “We’re really hoping that this concept is something that catches on and is enacted in many states,” he said.

Utilities owned by Dominion Resources Inc. and NV Energy Inc. have introduced similar proposals, according to Google.

Copyright 2013 Bloomberg

Lead image: Wind turbines via Shutterstock


The Big Question: What Is the Most Frustrating Part about Working in Renewable Energy?

Renewable Energy World Editors

Every industry has its challenges and misunderstandings. Sometimes the obstacles we face in simply trying to do our jobs can be very frustrating.

ViZn Flow Batteries

ViZn Turns to Jabil to Meet Growing Demand for Flow Batteries

Andrew Burger, Correspondent Energy storage startup ViZn, developer of advanced zinc-iron flow battery technology, is scaling up the size and scope of its operations as it works to meet growing demand from a variety of customers both in the U.S. and a...
Norway and Sweden flags

Nordic Renewables Boom Set to Exceed Wind Energy Target

Jesper Starn, Bloomberg

Sweden and Norway will probably exceed a joint target for renewable energy production by the end of the decade, industry consultant Nena AS said.

Renewable energy community

State and Metro Governments, Consumer Actions Drive Dramatic Shift in US Energy Landscape

Ron Pernick, Clean Edge The United States is experiencing a significant shift in its energy landscape. Last year, utility-scale wind and solar power combined for 47 percent of new generation capacity in the U.S. Based on this expansion, 11 states...


Volume 18, Issue 3


To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:



PV-401: Advanced Field Training

Real world on the job solar installation, training, and experience is th...

PV-201: Introduction to PV Design & Installation

PV 201 Introduction to PV Design & Installation is simply the best i...

PV-301: Advanced PV Design & Installation

This highly desirable and advanced course is intended for the profession...


Solar Tracking – A Key Technology for Unlocking the Full Potential ...

Quotes for very large solar photovoltaic projects in sunny parts of the ...

What is Distributed Energy and Why Does It Matter to Solar?

Distributed energy has become a hot topic of conversation in energy circ...

Meteorological Technology International Magazine - SENSORS AND SENS...

Over the past 10 years, these sensing technologies have spread tre...


Tweet the Editors! @megcichon @jennrunyon


Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now