Google has long been committed to renewable energy resources – though how much of that is for environmental as opposed to monetary reasons is difficult to say. However, their green initiative investments have remained almost entirely in the United States. Now that’s changed, thanks to Google’s recent investment of 3.5 million euros in a German power plant.
The investment, which translates to approximately 5 million U.S. dollars, represents a buyout of 49% of the company’s ownership. The solar plant itself is located in Brandenburg and was completed at the end of 2010, shortly after which it was purchased by Capital Stage AG (with the exact purchase price being left undisclosed). Capital Stage AG has also purchased several other German solar farms, and now own a total of 14 across Italy and Germany.
While it’s uncertain precisely how Google’s investment funds will be used, the figures indicate significant backing that, should Capital AG follow its recent trends, will likely mean further expansion of the plant itself. There is plenty of room for expansion, with the power plant resting on a 47-acre property. The plant currently generates, 18.64 MW of power, well more than most other solar farms (many of which generate power in the 5 to 10 MW area).
The investment itself, while official as an offer from Google, has yet to be ratified by the German government. Before the transaction is officially complete, the competition authorities will have to grant formal approval. Standard closing procedures cannot be started until such approval has been granted.
Google has invested over 100 million U.S. dollars in clean energy to date, but almost the entirety has been in the U.S. This includes the approximately 40 million dollar investment in two North Dakota solar farms in 2010. The German solar plant purchase represents the first million-plus investment in clean energy for Google outside of the United States.