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Recharge4040 | Profile: Google Global Infrastructure’s Neha Palmer

Blog post   •   May 21, 2014 14:41 BST

39 year old Neha Palmer is the Head of Energy Strategy and Development at Google’s Global Infrastructure group. Since graduating from the Kellogg School of Management in 2007, Neha has been focused on increasing access to renewable energy for a variety of energy purchasers.

Previously, as an investment banker at Goldman Sachs, she helped municipal utilities and electric cooperatives finance projects to reduce their carbon emissions through energy efficiency, implementation of new technologies such as smart meters, and diversification of energy supply to include renewables.

As a Principal in the Energy Supply group at Pacific Gas & Electric Company, she negotiated over 2,500 MWs of renewable energy PPAs, including deals that covered wind, solar photovoltaic, concentrating solar power, and innovative new technologies such as solar power towers.  

These projects, many of which are now up and running, will supply California with renewable energy for decades to come. In addition, as the Director of Corporate Development at PG&E, her team made some of the first tax equity investments in companies such as SolarCity and SunRun, which increase access to solar energy for homeowners across the U.S.

At Google, much of her time has been spent helping Google procure clean and renewable energy to power its data centers. A main thread has been urging utilities like Duke Energy to develop "green tariffs" to help increase access to renewables for corporations who require clean energy to run their operations. 

This work, where she leverages the whole of her experience, bringing together utilities, regulators, renewable energy developers, financiers, and, corporate customers desiring choice, will continue to be her focus in the future.

Finding a mechanism for these groups, who often have competing priorities, to cooperate and increase the amount of voluntary and additional renewable energy on the grid is her passion.

In addition to her recent work closing on an agreement to purchase up to 400MW of wind energy to power Google’s data centers , Neha will continue to focus on increasing access to renewalbes for corporate energy users.

She says that when it comes to energy supply, corporations craving "good carbon karma" should have an easy way to access it, and hopes that her work and Google can help pave the way for that.