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Google Announces Solar Finance Fund | Solar Energy USA Blog Archive

Google Announces Solar Finance Fund

Posted on Tuesday, September 27th, 2011 at 8:01 pm by Solar Energy USA
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The world’s largest internet search engine company is investing more money in solar energy by creating a $75 million dollar fund geared toward helping homeowners afford new solar energy systems on their roofs.

With the addition of this fund Google has now invested more than $850 million dollars in renewable energy solutions. In 2007 they installed a 1.6MW (Megawatt) solar energy rooftop at their corporate headquarters in Mountain View, California, dubbed the “Googleplex.”

“As we said when we made our first residential solar investment, we think it makes a lot of sense to use solar photovoltaic (PV) technology—rooftop solar panels—to generate electricity right where you need it at home. It greens our energy mix by using existing roof space while avoiding transmission constraints, and it can be cheaper than drawing electricity from the traditional grid.” – Rick Needham, Director of Green Business Operations with Google.

The new $75 million dollar fund will help some 3,000 homeowners add solar to their roofs. A homeowner will pay a monthly payment for the new solar energy system, a price that should be lower than an average power bill without solar energy generation.

Google has a special section on their website discussing their criteria for acquiring new renewable energy technology. When purchasing new technology for their offices they evaluate them based on 2 criteria:

1.     Does this renewable energy technology make good business sense? Google looks at the return on investment (ROI) and the period of time the project will take to pay for it’s self. The 1.6MW solar array on the Googleplex had an initial payback period of 7 years in 2007, but is on track to pay back in 6 years.

2.     Does the technology have long term potential to transform the industry? Google believes it can help jump-start certain industries by being the guinea pigs themselves and hopefully leading the way for others to follow suit.

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A final note on the future of solar energy from the Google website reads, “More and more businesses around the world are learning that sustainability provides business value. As companies continue to green their operations and invest in renewable energy, we believe affordable clean power will become readily accessible to everyone, enabling a tremendous leap forward toward a more sustainable future.”

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