Google invests $145m in California solar power project

10 September 2014 (Last Updated September 10th, 2014 18:30)

Google is investing $145m in 82MW solar power facility, located in Kern County, California, US.

Solar

Google is investing $145m in 82MW solar power facility, located in Kern County, California, US.

The solar farm project, called Regulus, is being built on 737 acres of land, which was previously an oil and gas field.

The project is expected to supply power to 10,000 homes. It is being built by SunEdison for TerraForm Power, a Maryland-based firm that owns and operates solar plants worldwide.

SunEdison owns a majority stake in TerraForm and began construction of project near Bakersfield in December 2013.

The plant is expected to go live later this year and will sell power to Southern California Edison through a 20-year purchase agreement.

The solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant will have more than 248,000 SunEdison mono-crystalline solar PV modules.

Once operational, Regulus is expected to reduce CO2 emissions equivalent to not burning 125 million pounds of coal annually.

Prudential Capital Group and Santander Bank provided term financing for the Regulus project.

This is the 17th renewable energy project that Google has invested in since 2010, with five of these in California, including a $103m solar facility in Imperial County.

"This project with SunEdison presented an opportunity to take an old gas and oil field and turn it into a clean energy producing solar site. It made sense to support it on multiple levels."

Google has signed agreements to invest more than $1.5bn in renewable energy projects across three continents with a total planned capacity of over 2.5GW.

SunEdison North America president Bob Powell said: "From developing the technology, to constructing the facility, to establishing mutually beneficial financial partnerships with leaders like Google, Prudential and Santander Bank, NA, Regulus is a prime example of how SunEdison's end-to-end approach benefits everyone involved in a solar project.

"That we've already made such progress on a project that broke ground in December 2013 is a testament to the speed and efficiency of our process."

Google renewable energy principal Nick Coons said, "We believe the world needs a wide range of clean energy technologies, each serving different needs.

"This project with SunEdison presented an opportunity to take an old gas and oil field and turn it into a clean energy producing solar site. It made sense to support it on multiple levels."

The project is expected to bring 600 jobs.


Image: Google agreed to fund more than $1.5bn in renewable energy investments across three continents, with a total planned capacity of more than 2.5GW. Photo:courtesy of Naypong/Freedigitalphotos.net.

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