14 September 2020

A new subsidy-free Better Energy solar park will supply Google with new green energy

A new Better Energy solar park in Næstved Municipality is now fully constructed and operational. Google will purchase the new green energy to power its new data centre in Fredericia.

Better Energy and Google today announce the completion of a new zero-subsidy solar park in Næstved. The park is a result of the long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) from last year in which Better Energy began the construction of three new solar parks in Denmark for a total capacity of 100 MWp. The new subsidy-free Næstved park has a capacity of 51 MWp, corresponding to the energy consumption of approximately 32,500 Danes.

Better Energy and Google share a vision and desire to make the grid greener. An essential part of the agreement was that Google buys new green energy that has the effect of new renewable energy capacity getting built and added to the same power market where Google's upcoming data centre in Fredericia is located. When companies add the same amount of energy to the market where they consume it, this is called true additionality.

According to Better Energy CEO Rasmus Lildholdt Kjær, companies can significantly impact the green transition in Denmark through their choice of energy supply:

“Our purpose is to advance the deployment of renewable energy as rapidly as possible and at the lowest cost possible. Today, large-scale solar parks are the most commercially scalable renewable energy potential available in Denmark. Companies are the key when it comes to fully realising this potential. They really make a difference when they buy new green energy from our solar parks. Google’s commitment to contribute positively to the deployment of new renewable energy capacity in Denmark by buying new green energy from our solar parks is an act of sustainable leadership that is a prerequisite for the green transition,” says Rasmus Lildholdt Kjær.

Google is the world’s biggest corporate buyer of renewable energy with all the company’s energy consumption matched with renewables. Google has been carbon neutral since 2007, but is only just getting started, says CEO of Google Denmark, Malou Aamund:

“Denmark has really reached a milestone as it’s now possible to construct solar parks unsubsidised. It speaks volumes about how far we are as a country in reducing carbon emissions, which is something to be proud of as a Dane. In Google, we feel a great deal of responsibility building sustainability into everything we do, and solar parks like Better Energy’s in Næstved ensure that we can stay carbon neutral. It’s immensely important.”

Companies have a key role in the transition to the next phase of the green transition, the market driven green transition. It is one thing to pledge support for corporate and environmental responsibility, and it is another thing to take control of your energy consumption. By buying new green energy that matches their consumption, companies take control and become a leading force in the green transition. The green transition is determined by the choices you make today.

Solar park with sprawling nature

The good news is not only that the solar park is built without subsidies but also that the solar park will also be a solar park with sprawling nature. In Better Energy, consideration for climate, nature and people is integral to all solutions. Solar is unique as a renewable power source because it can combine clean energy production and native species and habitat conservation:

“We are on a green journey to change the way our society is powered. We want to take full responsibility for the land we use in a wider context. For our solar park in Næstved, we have developed landscaping schemes that will create stepping stones for biodiversity. Eight distinct biodiversity ’points of impact’ will be incorporated in the solar park to ensure nature has good opportunities to spread and thrive over the years. The landscaping of the Næstved site is carefully planned to accommodate people and nature,” says Rasmus Lildholdt Kjær and continues:

“The climate crisis and the biodiversity crisis are urgent matters. We have to take an integrated approach to uphold a livable planet and reverse trends. Our solar park in Næstved is an example for imitation that shows that we can solve some of the great challenges we face holistically. The production of green energy and biodiversity protection can be combined.”