Google Invests $103M In California Solar Power Project

Silver Ridge Power, LLC and Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) announced that Google is investing $103 million in the Mount Signal Solar project in Imperial County, California.

Mount Signal Solar project

Mount Signal Solar project (photo – google.com)

The 265.7 MW, also known as Imperial Valley Solar 1, is a giant utility-scale solar power generation project that is currently under construction on a 1,963-acre site.

This project is credited with creating 900 construction jobs in a part of the state that has high unemployment.

Once operational in 2014, the project will produce enough clean renewable energy to power more than 80,000 homes in California.

The renewable energy produced by Mount Signal Solar will be sold to the San Diego Gas & Electric Company, which has signed a 25-year power purchase agreement with Silver Ridge Power.

This $103 million is Google’s 13th renewable energy investment. One of the other projects is a $178 million investment in BrightSource Energy’s 377 MW utility-scale solar project called Ivanpah located in the Mojave Desert in California.

Another $157 million was pumped by Google into two projects adding up to a combined 270 MW at the Alta Wind Energy Center (AWEC) in the Tehachapi Mountains in Kern County, CA.

Four Recurrent Energy solar photovoltaic (PV) projects near Sacramento, CA also got $94 million from Google. These four projects together have a capacity of 88 MW, enough to power more than 13,000 homes.

All put together, Google has invested more than $1 billion on renewable energy projects in California, Texas, Iowa, Oregon, Germany and South Africa that together represent a power generation capacity of more than 2GW – enough power for more than 500,000 homes.

Kojo Ako-Asare, Head of Corporate Finance, Google, said the Mount Signal Solar investment is a reflection of Google’s commitment towards the renewable energy sector, and their strong belief that renewable energy investments make business sense.

He added that this was the first time Silver Ridge Power had partnered with a tech company, and said they appreciate Silver Ridge Power’s innovative approach and hoped for more such partnerships in future.

Silver Ridge Power is a joint venture between Riverstone Holdings, LLC and The AES Corporation (NYSE:AES). It was formed specifically to develop, own and operate a portfolio of utility-scale solar power plants.

The Imperial Valley Solar 1 project, developed by 8minutenergy Renewables and taken up for construction by AES, accounts for more than half of Silver Ridge Power’s total capacity of 522 MW in the U.S. and six other countries.

Silver Ridge Power CEO Robert Hemphill said they were pleased to have a world-class partner such as Google for their flagship Mount Signal Solar project.

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