Under a long-term contract with Acciona Energia, Internet giant Google is powering its operations in Chile with renewable energy from a newly commissioned solar project.
Spain-based Acciona Energia says a portion of the output from its El Romero Solar plant, located in Vallenar in the Atacama Desert, now covers all of the electricity consumption of Google’s installations in Chile.
As previously announced, Google expects to achieve the goal of supplying its global operations with 100% renewable energy by year-end. Florencia Bianco, Google’s corporate communications manager for Latin America, says, “El Romero is a very important element in achieving this objective.”
With a maximum capacity of 246 MWp (196 MW rated power) and consisting of 776,000 modules, the project is the largest PV plant built, owned and operated by Acciona to date and represented an investment of around $343 million for the company. The project gradually entered service toward the end of 2016 and is now in commercial operation after a 13-month construction period.
As Acciona explains, its solar power purchase agreement (PPA) with Google covers the supply of up to 80 MW of electric power per annum through Chile’s main power grid, to which the PV plant and Google’s data center in Quilicura are both connected. It is one of Google’s 13 data centers worldwide and the only one located in the Southern Hemisphere. Acciona says its PPA with Google will last until 2030, with an option for a five-year extension at the client’s discretion.
“We are proud to supply renewable energy to such an important customer as Google, a company strongly committed to renewables – and to do it from this plant, the biggest photovoltaic installation in Latin America and a key reference within the sector,” says ACCIONA Energía Chile CEO José Ignacio Escobar.