Three ways AES and Google are innovating the energy industry of the future

The electric industry is in desperate need of change if we want to change our climate future. Here’s what we’re doing about it.

Together with Google, we entered into a 10-year strategic alliance to innovate solutions to global challenges the energy industry is facing and create the climate future we need. In the past four months, we’ve partnered in three key ways that will transform electricity as we know it. 

Google Nest Timeline

1. 24/7 carbon-free energy 

The next frontier in building a sustainable future is ensuring that businesses of every kind are operating on carbon-free energy when and where they have load – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This is known as 24/7 carbon-free energy. Google announced a world-leading goal to operate on 100% carbon-free energy by 2030 and set this goal knowing that a 24/7 carbon-free energy solution didn’t yet exist. 

Our solutionWe partnered together to develop a first-of-its-kind 24/7 carbon-free energy solution where we will supply Google’s Virginia data center campus with guaranteed time-matched carbon-free energy for at least 90% of all hours through a customized mix of solar, wind, hydropower and battery energy storage resources. 

The solution we created has world-changing implications.  Today, hundreds of companies around the world have committed to meeting 100% of their electricity needs with renewable sources. We demonstrated a clear roadmap for organizations to transition to 24/7 carbon-free energy to meet these goals with the greatest impact and accelerate the path toward a global net-zero future. 

Learn more about 24/7 carbon-free energy and why it matters

2. Grid virtualization technology 

Virtualization technology is critical to creating the modernized grid of the future. As we look to add more renewables around the world, grid operators need a better, faster and more holistic way to get the information they need to maximize the use of clean energy while ensuring the grid stays in balance.  

Our solution: We partnered with X, the moonshot factory (formerly known as a Google X) to develop  grid virtualization technologies to build a modern, accessible, affordable and green grid for all. Starting with our utilities at AES Ohio and AES Indiana, who serve more than 1 million customers combined, our goal is to virtualize the grid to facilitate decarbonization while improving efficiency and reliability, allow us to predict and plan for weather events and optimize the grid for renewables. This will bring us one step closer to ushering in the grid of the future.  

Read: Why the electric grid needs a moonshot


3. Digital energy platforms 

Both businesses and residential customers are looking for new ways to be more energy efficient and increase the amount of clean energy they use. But, when these customers rely on their utility to provide their energy, understanding what options are available to them and how to do this are not always clear. If we want to increase clean energy adoption and energy efficiency, we need the process to be clear and simple. 

Our solution: Together with Google, today we announced Nest Renew from Google, a new service that will allow all utility customers with a compatible Nest thermostat to support a clean energy future Google Nest Renew helps customers automatically shift their heating and cooling electricity usage to times when the grid is cleaner.    

The future of energy 

We partnered with Google to solve these three energy challenges because energy can’t keep working in the same way if we want to fight against climate change. 24/7 carbon-free energy, grid virtualization technologies, and digital energy platform solutions we developed are new today, but they will soon become the standard in the electric industry and how organizations of every kind are energized. A 100% net-zero future is within reach if we all recognize how we can begin transforming today.