Enabling 24/7 Carbon-Free Energy Solutions

In 2020, Google set the ambitious goal to decarbonize its electricity supply completely and operate on 100% carbon-free energy, every hour, everywhere, by 2030, spearheading the 24/7 carbon-free energy trend.

In 2021, ENGIE and Google signed a set of innovative agreements to supply Google’s two new data centers in Germany with a guarantee of 80% carbon-free energy (CFE) supply on an hourly basis. ENGIE will assemble and develop a carbon-free energy portfolio on Google’s behalf with the ability to flex and grow as Google needs change in the region.

This partnership between ENGIE and Google paves the way to new solutions to decarbonize businesses. These solutions can be utilized not only for Google but for all the companies that want to go further towards Net Zero.

Google and Engie actively collaborated during an 8-month period to design the first-of-its kind 24/7 carbon-free retail electricity agreement in Europe, which has led to innovations enabling both companies to advance ever closer to 24/7 Carbon-Free Energy (CFE)

On the contractual structure, the first innovation lies in the framework. Here, the supplier guarantees a given 24/7 CFE ‘Score’ for Google’s electricity supply to its data centres in Germany. The 24/7 CFE Score measures the degree to which each hour of electricity consumption on a given regional grid is matched with CFE from that grid. The initial guaranteed 24/7 CFE Score of 80% in 2022 is supported by a portfolio of wind parks falling out of subsidy (> 100 MW). To continue to provide this guarantee as Google’s DC load grows, in 2023, a new 39MW solar farm will be commissioned. Along with the CFE guarantee framework, ENGIE (as supplier) will manage all the capabilities required for delivery including: PPA execution, portfolio optimization, price risk management, market transactions, balancing, asset operations and scheduling & dispatch.

This framework was designed with the ability to enable the seamless integration of new PPAs and flexible solutions throughout the lifetime of the contract to continue to meet and improve the 24/7 CFE guarantee provided.

To support the complex elaboration of the renewable PPA portfolio for Google, ENGIE has developed an analytical tool for 24/7 electricity supply. Its concept was born during a co-construction client event, the “Innovathon”, organised by ENGIE in 2020 around decarbonization, and which gathered major industrial energy consumers including Google.

This tool supports the optimal selection of renewable assets, the optimal sizing of storage, the analysis of weather variability risk and geographical diversification, carbon footprint reporting, as well as various market optimizations. It proved essential in the construction of the Google/ENGIE agreement.

Thanks to the exchange of knowledge and the co-development which led to this landmark 24/7 CFE agreement, ENGIE is equipped to support clients in their shift to 24/7 CFE, a natural continuation of the green energy traceability solutions already provided by TEO (The Energy Origin).

The recently announced Global Compact for 24/7 CFE initiated by Google and Sustainable Energy for All is an inspiring message to the different market actors to kick off or continue their efforts around 24/7 CFE and accelerate the transition to Net Zero.

 

ENGIE CarbonMatcher 24/7 analytical tool (dashboard view – illustrative
figures only, not representative of Google/Engie agreement)