Clean Electricity: Microsoft, Google and Nucor Join Forces

Microsoft, Google and Nucor aim to develop new business models and combine their demand for advanced clean electricity technologies

Google LLC, Microsoft Corporation and Nucor Corporation are combining their industry might in an effort to remove barriers to developing clean electricity tech.

The three companies will work together on new business models to “accelerate the development of first-of-a-kind and early commercial projects, including advanced nuclear, next-generation geothermal, clean hydrogen, long-duration energy storage (LDES) and others”, a statement said.

The companies have issued a request for information (RFI) in several US regions for potential projects in need of impetus, with technology providers, developers, investors and utilities urged to respond.

Maud Texier, Google’s Global Director, Clean Energy and Decarbonisation Development, said: “Scaling advanced clean technologies requires significant investment, but the novelty and risk of early projects often make it difficult for them to secure the financing they need.

“Aggregating the demand of multiple large clean energy buyers helps enable the investments and commercial structures that are needed to bring these projects into the market.”

Clean tech and energy storage are key

The International Energy Agency (IEA) says clean electricity technologies and advanced energy storage systems are key to decarbonising grids and meeting global electricity demand with carbon-free energy sources.

The companies will initially focus on advanced technology pilot projects in the United States.

The three-pronged project delivery framework comprises:

  • Signing offtake agreements for technologies that are still early on the cost curve
  • Bringing a clear customer voice to policymakers and other stakeholders on broader long-term ecosystem improvements
  • Developing new enabling tariff structures in partnership with energy providers and utilities. 

Maud added: “Pooling demand enables buyers to offtake larger volumes of carbon-free electricity from a portfolio of plants, reducing project-specific development risk, and enables procurement efficiencies and shared learnings.”


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