Press Release Date: February 28, 2015
The internet giant Google Inc. has to date invested well over a billion dollars into clean energy development and partnerships. Now the search engine operator is once again teaming up with Solar City on a finance fund for residential power production.
The Mountain View based Google is set to invest some $300 million to help in supporting the installation of solar energy panels on residential homes and apartment complexes across the U.S. The U.S. developer Solar City has announced that it has for the second time partnered with the internet search engine giant, in a $750 million fund to help finance residential solar projects. Google has confirmed that this is its largest single renewable energy investment to date. The purpose of the fund will be to cover the relatively steep upfront costs of installing solar power for homeowners in 14 states in the U.S. as well as the District of Columbia. Consumers of the fund will be offered the choice to either pay Solar City for the electricity produced by the solar panels produce or to simply rent the panels by the month in the case of having a leased residence.
In 2011 Google provided $280 million to a similar fund in partnership with Solar City, the largest solar firm in the U.S., creating the country’s largest fund assisting with the financing of residential solar projects at that point. This was Google’s largest investment in the clean energy sector until now. With their first collaboration together deemed successful by both companies, they are now looking to repeat this on a larger scale.
In April of 2014 Google also allied itself with the San Jose based SunPower pledging $100 million to a joint program offering financial support in the obtaining of leases for rooftop solar energy equipment manufactured by the solar panel maker. The leasing of expensive solar equipment is the single fastest growing sector of the solar energy industry in the U.S. due to its popularity with consumers looking to avoid steep initial costs by taking on a monthly payment structure.
“Though solar energy is most certainly an alternative energy source, you would be hard pressed to find anyone describe it as an alternative investment these days. Not with companies of the size and scale of Google Inc. making large and frequent investments into the industry. With the popularity of roof top installations simply going from strength to strength in recent years the finance component of the industry has been forced to grow in a similarly rapid rate” remarked Mr. Raymond Ho, Wising Century Solartech’s V.P of Investment Relations and Outreach.