Google invests $103M in solar power plant

Google is the part owner in several clean power projects that sells electricity to utilities in California.  Today Google has announced that they have agreed to invest $103 million in a solar power plant in California that sends electricity to the San Diego Gas & Electric utility when it is completed in 2014.  This project is 265.7-megawatts and is called Mount Signal Solar.

Mount Signal is Google's 13th renewable energy investment, and the company has committed over USD 1 billion in more than 2 GW of renewable energy capacity to date.

It is under construction in Imperial County, which in the southeastern part of California. Google is working on this project with Silver Ridge Power (formerly known as AES Solar).  Google has invested in 12 other renewable energy projects.  Google has committed over $1 billion in wind and solar projects that collectively has over 2 gigawatts of generation capacity.  Most of these are projects in the U.S.  Two of the projects are funds set for SolarCity and the Clean Power Finance for managing resident rooftop installations of solar panels.  Google is also known for buying wind and solar electricity through long-term power purchase agreements.

Google also created a division called Google Energy.  Through this program, Google buys and sells electricity in the wholesale market.  Google Energy sends cleaner power into the local grids where data centers are based in.

Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) will not be paying over a big portion of the $103 million until the project hits certain milestones.

Mount Signal is using solar panels from First Solar.  First Solar is supplying single-axis trackers that tile the solar panels to follow movement of the sun.