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Nevada to Get a Next Generation Energy Project Soon

Google announced Tuesday that it is expanding its renewable energy commitment in Nevada by launching a “first-of-its-kind, next-generation” geothermal project. The plan, which was revealed at Google’s annual developer conference, would introduce carbon-free electricity to the electric grid that serves its data centers and networks in Nevada, including its Cloud area in Las Vegas.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai said Tuesday, “To reach 24-7 (carbon-free energy), we also need to go beyond wind and solar and tap into sources of on-demand clean energy like geothermal. It’s not widely used today and we want to change that. I’m excited to announce that we are partnering to develop a next-generation geothermal power project. This will connect to the grid, serving our Nevada data centers starting next year.”

In a nutshell, geothermal power plants access heat energy by digging deep into the earth: Hot water is usually pumped into a well at high pressure from wells as deep as one to two miles underground. The force of the water decreases as it approaches the surface, and it transforms into steam. To generate electricity, the steam spins a turbine that is connected to a generator. The smoke is cooled, condensed back to vapor, and pumped back into the ground to restart the operation.

Google has announced a collaboration with clean-energy startup Fervo to create a next-generation geothermal power project. According to Google, Fervo will add “firm” geothermal energy to Nevada electric grid system in 2022. Last year, the tech giant announced an ambitious plan to run all of its data centers and campuses worldwide on carbon-free electricity 24 hours a day, seven days a week by 2030. Google has announced that it will be the first global company to invest in geothermal energy at the next stage.

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