Google strikes deal for geothermal power

By Benjamin Storrow | 06/14/2024 06:36 AM EDT

It’s the tech giant’s newest effort to reduce climate pollution at its data centers in Nevada.

A drill rig stands at a Fervo Energy geothermal site under construction.

A drill rig stands at a Fervo Energy geothermal site under construction near Milford, Utah. In Nevada, a Fervo geothermal facility will power Google data centers. Ellen Schmidt/AP

An advanced geothermal project will help power two of Google’s data centers in Nevada under an agreement announced by the technology giant and the state’s largest utility this week.

The deal, which is subject to approval from state regulators, represents the latest evolution in technology companies attempting to green their electricity supplies. It also underscores the growing potential of geothermal power, following the completion of a pilot project in the state last year.

Under the proposed agreement, Google would pay an unspecified fixed rate to Sierra Pacific Power Co., a subsidiary of NV Energy, for an undisclosed portion of its electricity supplied by a 115-megawatt geothermal facility built and operated by Fervo Energy. NV Energy, in filings with state regulators, said the new facility would not be built without Google’s commitment to cover the project’s costs.


“The resource serving Google’s load brings the diversity of geothermal to Sierra’s system and also presents potential future benefit to Nevada if the technology expands to additional projects,” Janet Wells, a Sierra executive, said in written testimony to the Nevada Public Utilities Commission.