Google and a utility-owned by billionaire Warren Buffett are planning the world’s largest corporate solar/battery hybrid project in Nevada.
The proposal for 350MW of PV backed with 250-280MW of batteries at one or more locations was recently filed with the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) of Nevada, with the project set to power the $600m data centre that Google is currently building just outside Las Vegas, in the city of Henderson.
The arrangement between the search giant and NV Energy includes undisclosed fixed prices and will be “cost-effective and competitively priced compared to other available options”, according to the near-monopoly utility, which is owned by Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway group. If given the go-ahead by the PUC, the PV/battery project would begin operations in the second half of 2023.
Solar power not used by the data centre would be sold to the utility, while the contract also allows NV Energy to sell gas-fired electricity to the Google facility.
Last year, the PUC approved NV Energy contracts for 2.2GW of PV and 690MW of battery storage, the utility said in the filing. This included the 690MW Gemini Solar project (backed by 380MW of four-hour batteries) — which is set to be the largest PV farm in the US.
The commission is due to hold a “pre-hearing conference” on the Google/NV Energy proposal on 23 January.