Web companies like Google are investing in renewable energy with handsome profits. According to the search engine giant, Google has invested over $915 million in this sector. The company has also taken it upon itself to make use of green and sustainable energy. Some of their corporate campuses utilize photovoltaic systems for solar energy and cogeneration units that make use of landfill gas to generate electricity. Google has also completed two PPAs with a commitment to purchase renewable energy from certain sources.
Building a green future
1. The project: Large scale solar PV in California
The investment: $94 million
Google has invested $94 million in Recurrent Energy, a Sacramento-based company, for solar projects. The investment will cover four solar projects that is hoped will significantly benefit California’s energy needs. In fact, the project has found its first renewable energy client – the Sacramento Municipal Utility District which has signed a deal to purchase solar power for the next 20 years. The large scale undertaking will see 88MW of power being produced, enough to sustain 13,000 homes.
2. The project: Clean Power Finance – providing financing for rooftop solar panels
The investment: $75 million
Startup company, Clean Power Finance, is being financed by Google to help third party installers place solar panels on rooftops as part of solar rooftop projects. The investment of $75 million will see about 10,000 homes being benefited by solar power.
3. The project: SolarCity – solar for thousands of residential rooftops
The investment: $280 million
In one of the biggest investments by Google, $280 million has gone into funding SolarCity for its residential solar market. It is expected that the funds will help install as many as 9000 solar rooftop projects. Since solar leases and installations can be quite expensive, it is hoped that Google’s investment will help customers avail of more affordable solar panels.
4. The project: Atlantic Wind Connection – a superhighway for clean energy transmission
The investment: A 37.5 percent equity stake
Google’s 37.5 equity stake in the Atlantic Wind Connection project by Trans-Elect Development Company will hope to service offshore wind farms by a network of underground cables measuring a total of 350 miles from New Jersey to Virginia. The wind turbines that will be connected will be able to generate a substantial 6000MW of power to large population centers in the Mid-Atlantic region.
5. The project: Shepherd’s Flat – the world’s largest wind farm
The investment: $100 million
Shepherd’s Flat, billed to be the world’s largest wind farm with the proposed capacity to produce 845MW, has received backing from Google to install the latest turbine technology and magnet generators. The investment of $100 million will go a long way in meeting California’s growing energy demands. Southern California Edison will purchase the power produced for distribution under a long term agreement.
A glimpse of the green future
With big companies like Google paving the way for investments in green energy, there is hope that our ailing planet might just be saved. However, it cannot be left to a handful to bear the burden so there is a need for governments around the world to put in money and research for alternative energy. Such investments will see economies getting a boost as renewable energy is far cheaper compared to the rising costs of conventional resources like coal and natural gas. This in turn will open up avenues for much needed employment.
Original Article on EcoFriend
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