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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

Biden administration approves massive solar energy project in California

A solar farm in California. Photo: Sam Lafoca/Construction Photography/Avalon/Getty Images

The Interior Department announced Monday that it has approved a massive solar energy project on California's public lands.

Why it matters: The $550 million project will produce enough energy to power nearly 90,000 homes.

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
1 hour ago - Science

China makes history with successful Mars landing

A model of the Tianwen-1 Mars rover is displayed during an exhibition at the National Museum of China in Beijing. Photo: Wang Zhao/AFP via Getty Images

A Chinese lander carrying a rover successfully touched down on Mars for the first time, state media reports.

Why it matters: This is the first time China has landed a spacecraft on another planet, and it launches the nation into an elite club of only a few space agencies to successfully make it to the Martian surface.

2 hours ago - World

UN: 10,000 Palestinians displaced in Gaza as Israel-Hamas fighting escalates

A Palestinian woman walks after she collects her belongings inside her damaged house following an Israeli air in the northern Gaza Strip. Photo: Ahmed Zakot/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The United Nations warned Friday that ongoing fighting between Israel and Hamas "has the potential to unleash an uncontainable security and humanitarian crisis," in not only the occupied Palestinian territories and Israel, but "the region as a whole."

The big picture: More than 125 Palestinians, including 31 children have been killed in Gaza since fighting began Monday, per the Palestinian Ministry of Health. Eight people, including two children, have been killed in Israel, Reuters reported, citing Israeli authorities.