Google Cloud advances clean energy goals with new solar power agreements in Japan

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Google Cloud has made a significant stride towards achieving its 2030 goal of operating on 24/7 carbon-free energy across all its grids by announcing two new solar power purchase agreements (PPAs) in Japan. These agreements, the first of their kind for Google in the country, involve collaborations with Itochu’s partner Clean Energy Connect and Shizen Energy, adding a combined 60 megawatts (MW) of new solar energy capacity to the Japanese power grid.

The partnerships will notably support Google’s data centers in the region while aligning with Japan’s national clean energy goals. The first agreement with Clean Energy Connect entails the construction of approximately 800 small-scale solar plants across multiple grid regions in Japan. This innovative, distributed approach addresses the challenge of limited land availability for large-scale solar projects in Japan and will contribute 40 MW of clean energy to Google’s operations.

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Strategic Development and Operational Goals

The second PPA with Shizen Energy focuses on the development of a 20 MW utility-scale solar project located in the same power grid as Google’s recently opened data center in Inzai City, Chiba Prefecture. This project is part of Google’s broader strategy to integrate sustainable practices into its facilities worldwide and reduce its carbon footprint significantly.

Shinji Okuyama, VP of Google Japan, emphasized the impact of these agreements: “Through these agreements, we will procure the renewable energy generated from these solar farms across Japan, along with the associated energy attribute certificates. This will significantly reduce our carbon footprint in the region.” These projects are expected to be fully operational within four years, reflecting Google’s commitment to investing nearly $690 million (nearly 100 billion yen) into sustainable infrastructure in Japan.

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Google’s Long-Term Commitment to Decarbonization

Signing these PPAs marks just the beginning of Google’s decarbonization journey in Japan. The company plans to continue its efforts by collaborating with local partners and exploring innovative solutions to accelerate the country’s clean energy transition. These initiatives are part of Google’s global strategy to enhance environmental sustainability and support renewable energy developments that provide clean, reliable, and efficient power solutions.

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Impact on Local Communities and Beyond

The implementation of these solar power projects is expected to bring numerous benefits to local communities, including job creation in the construction and renewable energy sectors, increased local investments, and a reduction in environmental impact through decreased reliance on fossil fuels. Google’s investment is poised to boost the local economy and serve as a model for clean energy development in other regions.

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