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Google Invests In Solar Energy

Google announced its plan in 2010 to invest $168 million into a solar energy power plant in the Mojave Desert of California. The BrightSource Energy plant, which is set for completion in 2013, is also being financed by NRG and U.S. Department of Energy loans. At 370 Megawatts, the system promises to be the largest solar energy complex in the world.

According to Google director of green business operations, Rick Needham, the solar energy plant will generate 392 gross megawatts of clean solar energy, which is the equivalent of taking 90,000 cars off the road for 25 years.

What’s also exciting about this solar energy plant is that it uses new “power tower” technology. Instead of photovoltaic solar panels, the complex will use hundreds of mirrored towers called heliostats, which reflect sunlight onto a boiler to produce steam, which will then power turbines to create energy. Heliostat solar energy technology is cheaper to build and run.

In case you haven’t heard, Google is a big clean energy investor. Their past investments in alternative technologies like wind, tidal, and solar energy exceed more than $250 million. They understand that investing in clean energy will lower their operating costs and help their business run better in the future.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance reported nearly $257 billion in renewable power and fuel investments worldwide in 2011--a 17 percent increase over 2010--representing a significant upward trend in sustainable power sources.

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