Google adds to big energy spending with new solar projects

Google is investing another $80 million in renewable energy, likely pushing its total spending on green power close to $1.5 billion.

The Internet giant, which is the most significant player in the energy business outside of energy companies and financial institutions, will pour the cash into new solar projects in California and Arizona.

The projects will have a total capacity of 106 megawatts and will be developed by Recurrent Energy, which has built other solar facilities for Google.

Google said the facility will generate enough electricity to power more than 17,000 homes, although 106 megawatts is enough to power 53,000 average Texas homes under normal conditions, or more than 21,000 homes in peak conditions.

Big Tech goes green: Microsoft to use Texas wind power to fuel data centers

Google has added hundreds of millions of dollars in spending on clean energy this year alone.

In a deal announced in September, Google said it had made its largest energy investment yet when it bought future production from a 240-megawatt wind farm near Amarillo, Texas. The company did not disclose financial details of that deal.

Earlier this year, Google invested $200 million in a 161-megawatt wind farm, also in the Texas panhandle.

Google previously said its ownership stake in renewable power generation amounted to more than 2 gigawatts, the equivalent of the Hoover Dam, with recent additions moving beyond that number.

The company also has invested in clean energy innovation, with a purchase last year of a startup that makes kite-like flying wind turbines. Google did not disclose the financial terms of that deal.

Google also holds a 37.5 percent equity stake in the Atlantic Wind Connection, an offshore grid project meant to support offshore wind turbines.


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