Backing Recurrent marked Google’s first time investing in large scale solar photovoltaic power plants that generate energy for the US electric grid instead of on individual rooftops, according to Martinez. The projects were expected to generate enough electricity to meet the demands of more than 13,000 homes. Google has also committed to funding to help more than 10,000 homeowners install solar panels on home rooftops.
California-based Google said that it was joining investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Company to back the Recurrent projects.
We’ve made a new $94 million investment in a portfolio of four solar photovoltaic (PV) projects being built by Recurrent Energy near Sacramento, California. This brings our portfolio of clean energy investments to more than $915 million. We’ve already committed to providing funding this year to help more than 10,000 homeowners install solar PV panels on their rooftops. But this investment represents our first investment in the U.S. in larger scale solar PV power plants that generate energy for the grid—instead of on individual rooftops. These projects have a total capacity of 88 MW, equivalent to the electricity consumed by more than 13,000 homes.
We’re investing alongside global investment firm KKR and Recurrent Energy, a leading solar developer. Google will provide a $94 million equity investment and SunTap Energy, a new venture formed today by KKR to invest in solar projects in the U.S., will provide the remaining equity. We’re joining KKR on their first renewable energy investment in the U.S. We believe investing in the renewable energy sector makes business sense and hope clean energy projects continue to attract new sources of capital to help the world move towards a more sustainable energy future.
The energy produced by these projects is already contracted for 20 years with the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD). SMUD recently created a feed-in tariff program (FIT) to help green the grid for Sacramento-area residents. We’re excited that these projects are the first to be built under the program.
We’ve had a busy year at Google. Since January, we’ve invested more than $880 million in clean energy projects. We believe the world needs a wide range of solutions—from wind power, to transmission, to solar PV and concentrating solar thermal power—and we look forward to new opportunities next year to further expand our portfolio of clean energy investments.
Posted by Axel Martinez, Assistant Treasurer, Google Treasury, http://googlegreenblog.blogspot.com