Google announced on its blog yesterday that it is “ending the year with another clean energy investment“: the company has invested $94 million into a portfolio of four Recurrent Energy solar PV (electric) projects in California.
With this latest investment, Google is nearing almost $1 billion in clean energy commitments ($915 million to be exact) with over $880 million of that amount invested in 2011.
The statement went on to say that while previous efforts have been beneficial–like when the company provided funding for more than 10,000 homeowners to install individual solar PV systems–this latest investment represents their goal to expand utility-scale solar contributions to the grid as a whole.
Google believes that solar PV power plants, like the ones being developed near Sacramento by Recurrent Energy, will contribute to a more sustainable future for the United States and provide an investment example for other large corporations to follow.
The four projects Google is backing will produce enough electricity to power 13,000 homes in the area; they will have a total capacity of 88 MW. Under a power-purchase agreement with the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), the energy from these solar developments will provide area residents with clean power for 20 years.
Google reported that “SMUD recently created a feed-in tariff program (FIT) to help green the grid for Sacramento-area residents.” The Recurrent Energy projects are among the first to benefit from the SMUD program.