Source:ThinkGeoEnergy – Geothermal Energy News
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ThinkGeoEnergy – Geothermal Energy News

Google has entered into an agreement with Nevada electric utility company and Berkshire Hathaway Energy subsidiary NV Energy to increase the supply of geothermal power to its data center operations from 3.5 MW to 115 MW in about six years. As part of this agreement, NV Energy is working with geothermal developer Fervo Energy for the geothermal power supply.

“NV Energy and Google’s partnership to develop new solutions to bring clean, firm energy technology — like enhanced geothermal — onto Nevada’s grid at this scale is remarkable. This innovative proposal will not be paid for by NV Energy’s other customers but will help ensure all our customers benefit from cleaner, greener energy resources,” says Doug Cannon, President and CEO, NV Energy.

“If approved, it provides a blueprint for other utilities and large customers in Nevada to accelerate clean energy goals. We look forward to progressing this proposal through the regulatory process to approval and look forward to sharing this with other customers to advance the additional economic opportunities it can bring to our State.”

This new agreement builds on the Fervo’s Project Red in Nevada, proving the viability of Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) in power generation. Since then, Fervo has reported huge improvements in drilling performance at their follow-up geothermal project in Cape Station, Utah.

Introducing a new commercial model 

At the core of this partnership is the Clean Transition Tariff (CTT), a new commercial model that brings utilities and customers together into a long-term energy agreement that can facilitate investments into new projects that deliver clean, firm capacity to the grid.

Typically companies procure clean energy, primarily wind and solar power, through power purchase agreements (PPAs) with project developers. Although this approach has been successful, it has its limitations. PPAs are often isolated from broader grid planning and utility investment processes, and the variability of the weather can mean inconsistent solar and wind availability. Thus, to access the benefits of 24/7 clean energy technologies, a  new approach is needed to make it esaier to invest in projects that deliver clean firm capacity.

NV Energy is the first utility to operationalize this new approach through a first-of-its-kind energy supply agreement with Google. The utility company worked with developer Fervo Energy to include 115 MW of new, enhanced geothermal power in the CTT partnership with Google and deliver its full capacity value.

The proposed structure is currently pending review and approval by the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada. If successful, the model can be replicated in many electricity markets across the United States.

Source: Yahoo! Finance and Google

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