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  (Source: solarpowerpanels.ws)
Google is working to help 3,000 homeowners receive solar power rooftops

Google 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 this venture. 

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 energy total.



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This might work in California....
By Natch on 9/29/2011 10:30:54 AM , Rating: 2
....where Google is headquartered, and energy prices continue to be high, but it's still not viable everywhere.

Living in north Texas, I have had a couple companies give me figures on installing solar on my roof (house is just under 1800 square feet, with great southern exposure on half the roof, with minimal loss of sunlight exposure due to trees). I have compared that with what it's costing me to buy electricity, and solar STILL comes out to only match the price (sometimes MORE expensive).

What I would end up with, after paying off an installed system, would be a paid off 15-20 year old system, old technology, and ZERO savings. Until solar can beat my price for fossil fuel electricity, I'll continue in my old polluting ways.




"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer














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