Google files plan to power US$600m Vegas data centre with solar and batteries

A Google data centre in Oregon. Image: Flickr / Tony Webster.

Nevada utility NV Energy and Google are plotting a major solar-plus-storage facility outside of Las Vegas in a deal being billed as the largest battery-backed solar corporate agreement in the world.

The proposal was filed in December to Nevada’s Public Utilities Commission (PUC) by Nevada Power Co, a subsidiary of NV Energy.

While the length of the proposed power purchase agreement (PPA) and project load capacity were redacted from the public filing, market intelligence firm S&P Platts reported a 350MW solar plant backed by a 250-280MW battery storage system on Wednesday.

The energy will power Google’s US$600 million Henderson data centre near Las Vegas, which is scheduled to start operations in mid-2020.

If approved, the solar-plus-storage facility would be commissioned by late 2023, according to the filings.

While construction of the renewables plant is underway, the agreement stipulates that NV Energy will provide Google with wholesale market energy “priced at an appropriate index pricing” or with capacity from other NV Energy generators.

Once the solar-plus-storage plant is live, NV Energy will have the right to buy any excess power back from Google.

In early December, the utility – a near-monopoly in Nevada – secured approval from the PUC for a 1GW+ trio of solar projects that would be collectively backed by 590MW of storage. Those plants are set to come online by 2024 and are being developed by 8minute Solar Energy, EDF Renewables and a Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners - Arevia Power partnership.

NV Energy is a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway group, the conglomerate run by Warren Buffett that owns Duracell, Fruit of the Loom, Dairy Queen and parts of Kraft Heinz Company and American Express.

A prehearing conference for the Google power procurement deal will be held on 23 January.

This article first appeared on PV Tech.

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