Google Invests £89.2m In Californian 82MW Solar Power Plant

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Google makes 17th major investment in renewables since 2010

Google has furthered its commitment to renewable energy with a $145 million (£89.2m) investment in a new 82MW solar power plant being built on top of an old oil and gas field in Kern County, California.

It is expected that the deal with SunEdison will generate enough energy to power 10,000 homes and assist the state with its renewable energy ambitions.

“Our investment in the Regulus solar project will give new life to a long-valued piece of land, and there’s something a little poetic about creating a renewable resource on land that once creaked with oil wells,” explained Nick Coons, Renewable Energy Principal at Google.

Google solar investment

Google solar kerns county“Over the years, this particular site in California has gone from 30 oil wells to five as it was exhausted of profitable fossil fuel reserves. The land sat for some time and today we’re ready to spiff things up.

“With the help of our $145 million equity commitment, SunEdison is draping it in high-tech, sleek panels that collect energy from the sun, while bringing 650 jobs to the Kern County area and 82MW of clean energy to the grid.”

Google says the deal is its 17th investment in renewables since 2010, including five in California, totalling more than $1.5 billion. The company says that this not only helps to create a “clear energy future” but successful projects allow it to invest more in renewables.

“This cycle makes financial sense for Google and our partners while supporting construction jobs in local communities and clean energy for the planet we share,” added Coons.

Google has long been attempting to promote the company’s green credentials, and gained the top spot in Greenpeace’s ‘Green IT’ league table of environmentally friendly technology companies last year. The company won praise for its investment in renewable energy, as well as for pushing deals such as the green tariff it has with Duke Energy in California that result in new solar and wind capacity.

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