Goggle is building solar power plants, and funding new companies that Google thinks are going to help in the development of solar energy in the future. Google likes to profile themselves as a green environment friendly company and this is their way of showing it. Simply by investing in several solar energy projects around the world they are leading the way to a more sustainable future. We think this is awesome news and salute Google for taking action to minimize our footprint on the planet.


Mountain View Google headquarters

At Googles headquarter in California stands a giant 1,6 Mw solar power plant. These solar panels were raised at 2007 and generate a stunning 2 000 000 Kw/year this amounts up to approximately 30% of Googles total electricity bill. The panels will have paid for themselves within 7 years time so after 2014 googles solar panels will be generating totally free electricity. And since the lifespan of solar panels are 25 years, that will equal to 18 years of use.

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 Mount Signal Solar power plant

Another huge set of solar panels are located in Imperial country California here stands a 265.7 MW electricity generating giant. This solar plant is called Mount signal solar and has cost Google a round sum of 103 000 000 $. The environmental friendly electricity that is gathered here will be sold to the Californian people through San Diego Gas and Electric and be able to power up to 80 000 households.  This project is also great news for the state of California itself because it will help them achieve their goal to increase the amount of electricity that is made from renewable sources


Jasper Power Project

In South Africa a 12 000 000$ investment was made into the building of 94MW solar photovoltaic plant Jasper Power Project. When it strands completed Jasper will be generating enough power to supply for 30 000 African homes. That will be one of the biggest solar power plants in Africa. But it’s not only Google that we have to thank for this new plant. The South African government Recognized Africa’s great potential for solar energy and ordered this plant as a port of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Program (REIPPPP)


Recurrent Energy Sacramento, California

A total of four solar power plants are being built in another location in California more exactly at Sacramento. Together all of these solar panels will produce 88 MW and therefore be abele to power 13 000 households in Sacramento. To help Sacramento move towards a grid that contains more renewable sources and less fossil fuels these  solar projects are built under the feed-in tariff program (FIT). But still this investment cost Google 94 000 000$ and they are splitting the costs with another company called KKR. This will be KKRs first investment in green electricity manufacturing in the US. The first 20 years after completion these solar power plants will be feeding their energy to Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) who in turn will be selling the power to the inhabitants of Sacramento.


Clean Power Finance (CPF)

The great initial cost when installing   solar panels at your home has scared of many families who in fact would benefit from going solar in the long run. And even if the family wanted to make the investment in defiance that the costs are high they could find that it would be hard for them to get a loan for the funding.  This is why Google invested 75 000 000$ in a new company called Clean Power finance. This company is going to help to bridge the gap between homeowners and large companies that would like to make an investment in solar power but don’t have the recourses to on their own work with many small solar power plants in peoples homes. Technically the investors, Google in this case will own the solar panels while the homeowners provide their roof space in order to get to rent the solar panels on a monthly basis from Google. Clean Power Finance will in turn offer maintenance, cleaning and upkeep of the solar panels. The 75 million dollars that google invested in this will give  10000 homes shiny new solar panels and a much smaller electrical bill then they had before. Google will get a return on their investment by charging a fee on the electricity that the solar panels are generating.

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Solar City

A similar project to the above Clean Power Finance is Solar City. Solar City is going to offer homeowners their very own solar panels for a monthly fee instead of having them pay the whole sum at once. This will help many people to take the step towards using this great renewable recourse instead of dirty fossil fuels from the grid. The fantastic thing about this is that everyone will benefit from the deal. The rooftop owner will get major savings in their electricity bill that will be paid to Solar City instead of the Gird as they did before. Solar city will earn money on the deal since they are taking out fees and installation costs. The environment will definitely be happier about it since it will mean less coal and oil being burnet into its atmosphere. Currently solar City is building solar panel systems for 15 000 homes, but since Google invested 280 000 000$ in the project another 8 000 households can have the opportunity to go solar!


Ivanpah solar power tower

power tower mirror at solar power plant

Giant mirrors reflect the sunlight directly at a hotspot in the power tower
License Some rights reserved by jurvetson

At the Mojave Dessert in California stands a solar power plant in form of a power tower that produces 377MW of electricity from solar energy. This is not your ordinary solar panel park, this power plant uses a vast amount off circle mounted mirrors or heliostats to focus the rays of the sun on a tall tower with a receiver in the middle. The thing actually looks like a monster sized flat satellite dish. Anyway the receiver in the tower contains water that starts to boil by the massive amount of heat produced by the concentrated sunrays. The water then turns into steam, the stem powers turbines that in turn produce electricity. The power created at Ivanpa is going to be powering 140 000 Californian homes. This project is the first of its kind, a solar power tower this big has newer ben built before. Google believes that this is going to be an important step towards finding the best way to utilize the green power of the sun and has therefore invested 178 000 000$ in the tower.



German Solar power plant

Google now owns about half of one of the largest solar power plants in Germany and the price tag for that was only 5 000 000$ quite a humble sum if you see to their other investments. But maybe they would want to start slowly since this is the first investment in the European energy market they have made. The 116 acres of panels stand at Bradensburg and on a sunny day can output almost 19MW of electricity. This power will be enough to give 5 000 German homes the advantage of a fossil free clean energy alternative.

German Photovoltaic system with 19 Megawatts peak

A field of not grain or beats but solar panels in Germany
Photo: Creative Commons OhWeh


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