Google, one of the world’s largest companies, is investing $168 million in an alternative energy project that intends to produce enough solar energy to power 140,000 homes.
The announcement, made last Monday, details the investment as part of the financing that BrightSource Energy needs to create a solar power plant in the Mojave Desert in California. In addition, BrightSource is guaranteed $1.6 billion in loans issued by the U.S. Department of Energy and an additional $300 million investment from NRG Energy Inc.
“We’re interested in investments that have attractive returns and spur more deployment and development of compelling renewable energy technologies,” said spokesperson Parag Chokshi. “We have been active in the renewable energy sector for some time, having invested in several innovative companies through Google.org, and more recently, making corporate investments in clean energy projects, like two North Dakota wind farms, an offshore wind transmission line, and these two solar investments over the last week.”
Rick Neeham, Google’s director of green business operations describes the need to invest in “smart capital” to transform their energy sector and build a clean energy future.
“We hope that investing in [clean energy] spurs continued development and deployment of this promising technology while encouraging other companies to make similar investments in renewable energy,” Neeham stated.
Google Inc. has often put its money where its mouth is. The company has backed various projects that promise to generate energy from other sources besides oil and coal, diverting the enormous amounts of energy needed to power its Internet search engine to a more cleaner alternative. To date, the company has invested more than $250 million in clean energy alternatives.
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