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October 17, 2006

Google Goes Solar - GooglePlex Becomes SolarPlex

posted by MR WAVETHEORY at 10/17/2006 04:16:00 AM

As I mentioned yesterday, EverGreen Solar (Nasdaq ESLR) won a $100 million solar contract. Today, Google is announcing it will go solar too in the largest installation of its kind.
Google Inc. (GOOG) plans to build a massive solar-electricity system to help power parts of its Mountain View, Calif., campus that it says will benefit both the environment and its bottom line.

The system, to be built by EI Solutions, a unit of Energy Innovations Inc., of Pasadena, Calif., will use 9,212 solar panels and have a total capacity of 1.6 megawatts, or enough electricity to supply 1,000 average California homes. That will satisfy 30% of the campus' peak electricity needs.

The installation at Google's headquarters, known as the Googleplex, will begin next month and will be completed in the spring. It will be the largest solar-power system ever constructed at a U.S. corporate campus and one of the largest on any corporate site in the world, EI Solutions said.

The solar panels, which cover an area equal to about four acres, will be installed on the roofs of some campus buildings and double as shading for cars in parking lots. Most of the panels will be made by Sharp Electronics, a unit of Japan's Sharp Corp. (6753.TO).

Google declined to say how much money it would spend to build the system. However, the company estimates the savings it expects to realize on its electricity bills will pay for the cost of the panels before leases expire on its leased campus buildings, which will hold some of the panels. EI Solutions said panels typically last for 20 to 25 years and pay for themselves within five to 10 years.
This is a huge endorsement for solar energy. You can read more about the Google Solar Project.

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