EDP ​​Renewables & Google to harness 500MWac of solar energy

Google and EDP Renewables (EDPR), through EDPR NA Distributed Generation (EDPR NA DG), the distributed solar generation unit of EDP Renewables North America, have signed a framework agreement to develop and install more than 80 distributed solar projects with about 650 MWp (500 MWac).

This is the largest corporate distributed generation sponsorship signed between two companies in the United States, according to data from S&P Global and BloombergNEF (BNEF) and is also the largest distributed generation agreement EDPR has signed with a customer to date.edp

The first solar projects will begin deployment in Ohio, where Google owns and operates a data center in New Albany and a Google Cloud facility in Columbus. The projects will span a total of six US states. EDPR NA DG will be responsible for the development, construction and operation of the solar parks, with the first projects aiming to be operational by the end of 2024

This portfolio will also be partially funded by Google's acquisition of Impact Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs), an instrument that certifies that a particular purchaser has the rights to the environmental and social benefits of renewable electricity derived from a RES project.

Google began working with EDPR almost two years ago to develop a clean energy initiative that promotes energy equity and reduces the energy burden, under ImpactRec, an Open Software trading model. The agreement aims to democratize access to cleaner energy, making its benefits accessible to underserved communities.

These local energy projects will also reduce electricity bills for approximately 25.000 low- and moderate-income families. Beneficiaries will be determined in due course as projects develop.

As with other Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs), ImpactRECs are generated and eligible in the energy market. However, this model, developed by Google and EDPR NA DG, certifies direct investments in local energy communities, focused exclusively on providing support to low- or moderate-income families.

“What we found through conversations with local actors and Environmental Equity advocates was that the disproportionate impact of the high energy burden remains a key barrier to a just energy transition. By working with EDPR NA DG, we aim to reduce the energy burden in the communities where we operate, while advancing our goal of 24/XNUMX carbon-free energy,” said Sana Ouji, Energy Lead, Google.

"We are grateful to EDPR for their partnership, collaboration and steadfast commitment to our shared mission, and excited to have the opportunity to contribute to our company's data centers, extending the benefits of our clean energy investments."

“We are delighted to be signing this framework agreement which will enable us to develop a significant number of renewable energy projects while catering for underserved communities. The necessary transition to cleaner ways of producing and using energy should leave no one behind, and this partnership with Google allows us to do just that, making electricity cleaner and more affordable for more families," notes Miguel Stilwell d Andrade, CEO of EDP.

In addition to purchasing ImpactREC, the program includes the creation of a $12 million community impact investment fund. This fund concerns initiatives that reduce energy poverty in the communities where the projects are built. Google and EDPR NA DG are committed to local social and economic equity as part of the transition to a greener future.

Focusing on decentralized solar energy projects is one of EDP's main areas of development and investment for the coming years. The company has currently installed around 1,4 GW of decentralized solar projects globally and aims to add 3 GW for 2023-26. EDP ​​Renewables is developing this business in the United States, where it acquired a leading decentralized solar company in 2021, through EDPR NA Distributed Generation, with over 220 MWp of operating assets, covering more than 440 projects in 20 states of North America.

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