If there’s one company that embodies the environmentalist spirit, it’s Google. GigaOM reports Google established a $280 million fund in SolarCity, a solar power company based in San Mateo, California, to develop rooftop solar panel projects. This is Google’s first investment in residential and distributed solar power, and also its largest venture in clean power to date.
SolarCity sells, installs, finances, operates, and maintains its rooftop solar systems, offering both leases and power purchase agreements, which require customers to pay for the amount of electricity generated but not the equipment and installation costs. By covering the upfront cost of the system, SolarCity allows for a greater margin of consumers and businesses to buy their systems.
Google’s latest investment means the company has now invested $680 million into clean power projects, which even rivals the funding provided by the U.S. Department of Energy. By investing in clean power, Google hopes to encourage green practices in other companies and power its data centers and other energy needs in the long-run. Google has already invested in wind farms, greentech start-ups, solar start-ups, and the world’s first seawater-cooled data center.
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