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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Google and the energy company AES announced a 10-year deal to supply three Northern Virginia data centers with 90% power from zero-emissions sources on an hourly basis.

Why it matters: It's the latest move in Google's pledge to have all its operations run round-the-clock on carbon-free power by 2030.

Data centers use lots of power. Google says it already buys enough renewable power annually to match the company's power use.

  • But that's not the same thing as never relying on fossil generation, and its operations rely on grids with varying levels of coal and gas.
  • Google said last month that five data center sites — in Denmark, Finland, Iowa, Oklahoma and Oregon — are now around 90% carbon-free 24/7.

How it works: AES said it would supply Google with a 500-megawatt mix of wind, solar, hydro and battery storage it will develop or contract.

  • The portfolio will require roughly $600 million of investment and generate 1,200 permanent and temporary jobs, it said, while calling it a way to help decarbonize the region's grid more broadly.
  • "Our plan is to provide this kind of carbon-free energy product in the future to a wide range of customers in similar circumstances," AES Clean Energy President Leo Moreno tells Axios.

The big picture: Google CEO Sundar Pichai told Axios' Andrew Freedman that relying only on carbon-free power around the clock everywhere is their "moonshot goal."

  • "Moving to a world where we are able to operate by sourcing clean energy for every location and where you are, and, and doing it across your operational footprint in everything you do — I think that's profound," he said in a recent interview.

Go deeper

EIA report: Carbon emissions expected to increase in 2021

Reproduced from EIA; Chart: Axios Visuals

Coal consumption for electricity generation is expected to increase by 17% this year due to higher natural gas prices that are temporarily making coal more cost-competitive, according to the latest Short Term Energy Outlook released by the Energy Information Administration Tuesday.

Why it matters: Coal is the most carbon-intensive fuel, so any uptick in its use, even temporarily, can have a significant influence on carbon emissions.

Federal judge says Florida ban on "sanctuary cities" racially motivated

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

A federal judge on Tuesday struck down parts of a Florida law aimed at banning local governments from establishing "sanctuary city" policies, arguing in part that the law is racially motivated and that it has the support of hate groups.

Why it matters: In a 110-page ruling issued Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom said the law — signed and championed by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) — violates the Constitution's Equal Protection Clause because it was adopted with discriminatory motives.

Biden steps into the breach

Sen. Joe Manchin heads to a meeting with President Biden today. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

President Biden ramped up the pressure on his fellow Democrats Wednesday, calling a series of lawmakers to the White House in the hope of ending infighting and getting them in line.

Why it matters: Divisions within the party are threatening to derail Biden's top priorities. After several weeks of letting negotiations play out, the president is finally asserting his power to ensure his own party doesn't block his agenda.