Duke Energy and Google announced a deal Tuesday that will supply Google's Lenoir data center with power from a new solar farm under development in Rutherford County. Duke says the 61-megawatt facility being developed by Rutherford Solar LLC will be one of North Carolina's largest.
Under the deal, Duke Energy will buy power from the new solar project, and re-sell it to Google. The partnership is the first through Duke's Green Source Rider program, which supplies renewable energy to non-residential customers. The project's cost won't be passed on to the utility's other customers.
“Google was a driver behind Duke Energy seeking approval for the Green Source Rider,” Rob Caldwell, senior vice president for Distributed Energy Resources, said in a press release. “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.”
In a statement, Google's Gary Demasi said: "We’ve agreed to purchase 1.2 gigawatts of renewable power globally and we‘re working to power 100 percent 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 program with Duke Energy.” Demasi, is Google’s head of Data Center Energy and Location Strategy. “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."
Google announced in 2013 that it planned to spend $600 million to expand its data center Lenoir. The companies helped develop Duke's Green Source Rider program.
Related links: Nov. 24, 2015, GoogleGrenBlog, “Creating new pathways for buying green energy.”