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Google Makes Biggest Renewables
Bet Yet on $750 Million SolarCity Fund

by Staff
GreenBiz, March 2, 2015

A snapshot of a Google solar energy project in Southern California. The tech giant invested just over $100 million in the project seen here -- or one-third of the sum the company is spending on a new SolarCity fund geared toward residential solar. Google has accelerated its push into the renewables sector.

But this time, instead of funding a giant solar or wind farm, the company is looking to support the installation of solar panels on homes across the U.S.

Leading rooftop solar developer SolarCity announced last week that it has teamed up with Google to create a $750 million fund for investment in residential solar projects.

Google has committed $300 million to the fund, making it the company's largest renewable energy investment to date.

The deal follows an earlier partnership between the two companies from 2011 that similarly funded the installation of residential rooftop solar arrays.

Upping the ante

SolarCity said the latest fund is the largest of its kind to date.

"We're happy to support SolarCity's mission to help families reduce their carbon footprint and energy costs," said Sidd Mundra, renewable energy principal at Google, in a statement. "It's good for the environment, good for families and also makes good business sense."

The fund works by financing the installation of solar arrays at no upfront cost for households in 14 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. The household then either pays a monthly charge to lease the panels or pays for the power that is generated.

In either case, households get predictable energy costs and typically realize significant savings compared to the grid power they otherwise would be using.

The race toward renewables

The fund is the latest in a string of high profile clean energy investments from leading IT firms.

So far in 2015, Google, Apple and Facebook have announced ambitious new renewable energy and green data center programs.

Just last week, for example, Apple announced plans for two major new data centers in Ireland and Denmark that will be run entirely on renewable energy.

Click here to read much more about tech firms investing in renewable energy -- and what the eye-popping sums might mean for the future of the corporate energy market.

Google Makes Biggest Renewables Bet Yet on $750 Million SolarCity Fund
GreenBiz, March 2, 2015

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