On Tuesday, Google announced that it is investing $75 million into a fund with Clean Power Finance Inc. to help install solar panels for up to 3,000 homeowners. San Francicso based Clean Power Finance Inc. allows solar power installers to partner with investors such as Google in order to provide solar electricity systems to homeowners without requiring much up-front expense.
Rick Needham, Google’s Director of Green Business Operations, described the recent investment on Google’s blog:
“Solar installers sign up with Clean Power Finance to get access to the company’s comprehensive sales solutions, including consumer financing from investors, like the Google fund. . . . The installer builds the system, the investor (in this case, Google) owns it, and homeowners pay a monthly payment for the system, at a price that’s often less than paying for energy from the grid.”
This funding in solar energy is the second largest investment Google has made in residential solar energy. In June, the search giant set up a $280 million fund with SolarCity Corp. The new fund with Clean Power Finance will allow small, local photovoltaic system installers to offer financing to homeowners who would otherwise be unable to afford the $30,000 solar energy system.
Earlier this month, Google openly released that in 2010 its data centers used 2.26 million megawatt hours of electricity, which is enough to power a city of 100,000 to 200,000 people. Following Google’s recent release of its energy consumption, the search giant has emphasized that it has maintained a carbon neutral footprint since 2007.
Google has invested over $850 million in clean, renewable energy technology and funded various projects that focus on removing harmful greenhouse gases. Although it is unable to use renewable energy for its high-consumption data centers, the recent move to fund solar technology reflects the largest Internet search engine’s long-term commitment to a greener planet.