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Google Invests Another $80m in Solar

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The 17.5 MWac/22 MWp Victor Phelan project (pictured), located in San Bernardino, Calif., is part of six Recurrent Energy developed projects acquired by Google and KKR. The six-project portfolio is expected to operational by early 2014 and will generate enough clean electricity to power more than 17,000 U.S. homes.

Internet superstar Google partnered with global investment firm KKR to invest in six utility-scale solar facilities in California and Arizona. Developed by leading solar developer Recurrent Energy, the projects have a combined capacity of 106MW and will generate enough electricity to power over 17,000 U.S. homes.

“You’d think the thrill might wear off this whole renewable energy investing thing after a while. wrote Kojo Ako-Asare, Google’s head of corporate finance, on the company’s blog. Nope—we’re still as into it as ever, which is why we’re so pleased to announce our 14th investment”.

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Google will make an approximately $80 million investment into these facilities. The Arizona and Southern California plants will be operational in January. Google and Recurrent did not announce the exact locations of all six plants, but said three local utilities would offer the solar power to residents through purchase plan agreements, including Southern California Edison.

This investment is similar to one we made back in 2011, when we teamed up with KKR and invested $94 million in four solar facilities developed by Recurrent. Those facilities have since started generating electricity, and we’ve committed hundreds of millions more—more than $1 billion in total—to renewable energy projects around the world.

“These investments are all part of our drive toward a clean energy future—where renewable energy is abundant, accessible and affordable. By continuing to invest in renewable energy projects, purchasing clean energy for our operations and working with our utility partners to create new options for ourselves and for other companies interest in buying renewable energy, we’re working hard to make that future a reality”.

Google’s clean energy profile will offer 2 gigawatts (GW) of power once the Arizona and California projects are operational. The company estimates that’s enough to power 500,000 homes or all of the public elementary schools in New York, Oregon and Wyoming for one year. Recurrent also has 2 GW in its profile, along with 700 MW in contracted projects.

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