Google invests more than $100 million in 265 MW Californian solar plant


Google has announced a partnership with Silver Ridge Power LLC that will see the search engine giant further advance its commitment to clean energy with a $103 million investment in a new solar power plant.

The 265 MW Mount Signal Solar utility-scale PV plant is currently under construction in Imperial County, California. It is expected to come online in 2014, with San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) already agreeing to a long-term power purchase agreement with the plant.

The plant represents Google’s 13th major investment in renewable energy projects, with the company having more than $1 billion committed to clean energy around the world, the majority of these ventures in the U.S. This investment takes Google’s commitment to 2 GW of renewable power, which is enough to supply 500,000 American homes annually.

"Our investment in Mount Signal Solar is a reflection of Google’s ongoing commitment to the renewable energy industry and our strong belief that investing in renewable energy makes business sense," said Google’s head of corporate finance, Kojo Ako-Asare. "This is the first time Silver Ridge Power has partnered with a technology company; we appreciate their innovative approach and we hope to see more such partnerships in the future."

Silver Ridge Power’s CEO, Robert Hemphill, added: ”We are pleased to have a world-class partner in Google on our flagship Mount Signal Solar project.

"We are on schedule to complete the project in 2014 and, when completed, it will be one of the largest single-axis tracker PV plants in the world.

"Mount Signal Solar represents over half of Silver Ridge Power’s total installed capacity and will provide clean, renewable energy to more than 80,000 homes in California."

Google’s chief stipulation prior to investment is for Mount Signal to begin operation, which is a customary condition that the technology giant imposes on all of its investments. The solar farm will be supplied with solar panels from First Solar, while Array Technologies has provided its DuraTrack HZ single-axis tracker for the full 265 MW of the plant.