has proved its commitment to greener technologies over the past few years
through hybrid vehicle initiatives, its investment in the world's largest wind farm, an investment in the
Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, and the
installation of solar panels in its roof in Mountain View, California (which
produces 1.6 megawatts of energy).
Last year, Google received regulatory approval to buy and sell power, much like a utility
company. It is now using this approval to provide solar panels to homeowners
who want to participate in green technology.
At the Renewable Energy Finance Forum in San Francisco this week, Google
announced that it is investing $75 million toward helping 3,000 homeowners
receive solar power. It is building an initial fund with Clean Power Finance in
According to The
Official Google Blog, purchasing solar has been difficult for
homeowners up until now because of costs. Solar installers do not always have
the capital to provide financing for customers, and they sometimes cannot find
resources that can provide financing.
On the investors side, it’s hard for companies and banks to enter the
market and find a way to connect with customers in such a "fragmented
market with many companies."
But now, Google has found a solution. It is partnering with Clean Power
Finance, which has found a way to connect homeowners and solar investors like
Google through an open platform. This allows Google to provide the financing
they need in order to pursue alternative energy ventures.
Solar installers then sign up with Clean Power Finance in order to sell these systems, and these
installers build them as a way of growing their business. At the end of the
day, Google owns the system, Clean Power Finance takes care of the maintenance,
and homeowners pay a monthly fee.
"As we said when we made our first residential solar investment, we
think it makes a lot of sense to use solar photovoltaic (PV) technology --
rooftop solar panels -- to generate electricity right where you need it at
home," said Google in its blog. "It greens our energy mix by using
existing roof space while avoiding transmission constraints, and it can be
cheaper than drawing electricity from the traditional grid."
According to Google, it has now invested more than $850 million in clean