Google has recently committed to a massive solar project that will span over 737 acres in Kern County, California. The $145 million Google is investing in this huge project, however, is only a portion of the $1.5 billion the company has spent overall on global sustainability and clean power generation. As one of the worldwide leaders of large companies in renewable energy, Google's green investments provide more than 2.5 gigawatts of clean power.
Covering what used to be an oil and gas production field, the new solar project will contain over 248,000 monocrystalline photovoltaic modules. It is expected to produce up to 83 megawatts of solar energy, enough to power 10,000 homes. Additionally, Google's blog states the project is expected to bring 650 jobs to the area.
photo courtesy: Googleblog.blogspot.com
Previously, Google's largest power purchase agreements have been based on wind power production. Heather Clancy, technology contributor for Forbes.com, states in her article on the company's clean energy focus, "...Google’s various long-term agreements for renewable power generated approximately 870,000 megawatt-hours, covering 23% of its total consumption needs. Between those contracts, green power that it buys from the grid and its own on-site projects, it sources about 35% of its electricity mix from renewables."
Nick Coons, Renewable Energy Principle and author of Google's blog on the topic, sums up the benefits of a clean energy project beautifully, "We’re continually looking for newer, bigger and better projects that help us create a clean energy future. The more than $1.5 billion we’ve brought to these projects to date not only helps provide renewable energy to the grid and to the public, but as they perform, they allow us to invest in more renewable energy projects. 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."
Heather Clancy, Forbes.com
Nick Coons, Googleblog.blogspot.com