Google’s Next Clean Energy Investment May Be a Bet on Batteries

Source: By Brian Eckhouse, Bloomberg • Posted: Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Google, already the world’s biggest corporate buyer of wind and solar power, may soon be making another clean energy bet — this time, on batteries.

“We would like to do something in 2018,” Neha Palmer, head of energy strategy at the Alphabet Inc. unit, said in an interview Tuesday at the Bloomberg New Energy Finance Future of Energy summit in New York. “We’re investigating projects.”

Palmer says Google is looking at a few options to decide what could make sense. Among the possibilities: a standalone battery farm supplying the power grid; a behind-the-meter installation at a home or business; or a system tethered to a solar or wind farm. The project could be backed by a years-long supply contract that guarantees revenues, or not. The company’s still reviewing the right market for such an investment.

“The jury is still out,” Palmer said, “in terms of how to optimize the value of storage.”