Recurrent Energy Project

Google Invests In Clean Energy Future – Google for Solar

Google search: Google invests in solar photovoltaic energy
Search results:
$94 million on four solar panel based projects near Sacramento…
– $355 million in funds to finance residential solar rooftops…
– a 49% stake in a solar farm in Germany…
– $168 million on the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System…

more – add dateDecember 2011:
Search results:
– $94 million on four solar panel based projects near Sacramento…
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As published at Google’s blog, Google has been invested $94 million in a solar photovoltaic (PV) projects with a total capacity of 88 megawatts (MW). It is investment in large scale solar photovoltaic power plants that generate energy for the grid in Sacramento, California.
Joined with global investment firm KKR and solar energy farm developer Recurrent Energy, Google is building four solar photovoltaic facilities to provide green electricity for Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) and their utility’s feed-in tariff program (FIT).
With the completion of last of four Sacramento solar farms, scheduled for the end of 2012, the projects are expected to produce almost 160.000.000 kWh electricity in the first year of operation, which is roughly equivalent to the electricity consumed by more than 13.000 homes.
“We’re excited to be joining global investment firm KKR on their first renewable energy investment in the US. We hope clean energy projects continue to attract new sources of capital to help the world move towards a more sustainable energy future.” explained Google on their webpage.

more – add date rangeJune 2011 to September 2011:
Search results:
- $75 million in a Clean Power Finance: Financing for rooftop solar…
– $280 million in a SolarCity: Solar for thousands of residential rooftops…
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Google invested in funds to help financing residential solar panel systems especially for individual homeowners. The goal that Google had in mind was to make solar energy widely accessible.
With Clean Power Finance (CPF) Google created a fund that will help up to 3.000 homeowners install individual solar panel system on their own roof.
Another big Google’s solar investment was in a SolarCity fund. Google as investor joined Solar City, a full service solar systems provider, to design a solar panel system for customers’ homes. In that arrangement, Google purchase the system up front and, in return, receive a portion of lease payments from the homeowner along with Solar City.

more – add dateApril 2011:
Search results:
– $168 million in Ivanpah solar energy tower plant in the Mojave Desert
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Google invested $168 million into new solar energy power tower plant called Ivanpah that will be located in the Mojave Desert in California.
The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, being developed by BrightSource Energy and constructed by Bechtel, should be operated in 2013. The facility consists of three separate solar plants with total of 392 MW solar power and will provide with energy equivalent to that used by 140.000 homes. Such amount of energy generated from renewable source is estimated to displace more than 450.000 tons (408.000 metric tons) per year of CO2 which is same as to take 90.000 cars of the streets.
In addition to the reduction in carbon emission, the environment friendly design of the plant recycle all process wastewater for zero liquid discharge and preserves scarce water by air-cooling steam from its turbine before returning it as water to the boiler, which uses 90% less water than traditional wet-cooled power plants.

The “power towers”, an advanced solar thermal technology, uses 173.000 heliostats (sun-tracking mirrors) to focus solar energy onto a high-efficiency boiler mounted on the top of the 137 m high tower. The receiver produces high pressure steam that spins a turbine generator to make electricity. This way it maximizes the steam output generated by solar energy received from more than 50.000 heliostats at each unit. It will be the world’s largest solar thermal farm.

The progress of construction could be seen on Gilles Mingasson’s photo from the site published in newest issue of Smithsonian Magazine. The Unit 1 power tower, as could be seen on photo, is surrounded by more than 50.000 of heliostats.

In the meantime, due to the major price dropdown, Google is dropping development of “solar thermal” electricity but promising to stay interested in the solar photovoltaic energy future. “The installed cost of solar photovoltaic technology has declined dramatically over the past few years, making solar photovoltaic technology a compelling choice for consumers,” Google Fellow and senior vice president of operations Urs Hölzle said in a blog post.
Solar panels consisting of solar cells use photovoltaics to generate electricity directly. Solar thermal technology uses mirrors to focus sunlight on a boilers containing fluid that heats up, creates steam and drives a turbine. It’s also known as “concentrating solar power” (CSP).

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