Google’s Mesa Data Center to Be Powered by 400 MW of Renewable Energy

by Anna

Google’s forthcoming data center in Mesa, Arizona, is poised to set new standards in sustainability, with plans to harness over 400 MW of renewable energy generated from three distinct facilities.


The center, set to oversee critical cloud data operations for Google’s flagship products like Search and Gmail, will draw power from solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, wind turbines, and two battery storage systems spanning three new plants. These facilities are the result of partnerships with local utility Salt River Project (SRP) and clean energy operator NextEra Energy Resources.


In a recent milestone, SRP and NextEra Energy Resources launched the Sonoran Solar Energy Center in Buckeye, covering 3,000 acres and boasting 260 MW of PV arrays alongside a 1 GWh battery storage system. Additionally, the Storey Solar Energy Center, located 47 miles south of Mesa, is now operational, featuring 88 MW of PV capacity and 88 MW of storage. Together, these sites have the capacity to power nearly 80,000 homes on a sunny day and store energy for up to four hours to support peak grid demand.

Scheduled to come online in mid-2024, the Babbitt Ranch Energy Center will contribute 161 MW of power to the Google campus, featuring 50 General Electric wind turbines.

The Mesa data center, Google’s first in Arizona, commenced construction last year and is slated for completion in 2025. Initial plans filed with the City of Mesa Design Review Board outline the necessity for utility infrastructure including a switchyard and a medium-voltage substation, with Phase 1 comprising a 288,530-square-foot building along with associated equipment.

Google affirmed that the SRP power supply agreement will enable over 430 MW of renewable capacity in the state, aiding in achieving its goal of attaining at least 80% carbon-free energy hourly by 2026.

This move aligns with Google’s broader aim to power its data centers and offices with 24/7 carbon-free energy by 2030. The Mesa facility will utilize air-cooled technology to enhance efficiency and mitigate impacts on local water sources, a strategic decision influenced by concerns over depletion and scarcity of the Colorado River.

Acknowledging the energy-intensive nature of such facilities, Google has invested in various strategies to improve efficiency, including utilizing outside air for cooling and employing custom servers designed for optimal performance at temperatures of up to 80°F.

Google’s commitment to sustainability extends beyond its data centers through power purchase agreements with entities like SRP. Over the past decade, the company has secured agreements for over 10 GW of renewable generation capacity, significantly reducing its electricity footprint.

The excess energy generated by the Mesa data center will contribute to SRP’s efforts to meet increasing energy demand, driven by factors such as regional migration and the adoption of electric vehicles. SRP’s Integrated System Plan outlines ambitious targets to double or triple its resource capacity in the next decade, emphasizing the pivotal role of renewables in its future energy portfolio.


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