Search engine goes green and clean

Sian
Thursday 21 Apr 2011

Google invests $168m in solar power tower


The world’s most popular search engine has furthered its investment in green energy resources by purchasing the largest solar power tower plant on the planet. Located in the Mojave Desert, the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System is already under construction and is reportedly looking to produce 392 MW on completion in 2013 (1MW would power approximately 650 homes).

Costing Google $168m, the plant will host 173,000 heliostats (plane mirrors) at 450ft in height which will focus the sun’s rays onto a central tower. This heat generates steam which powers multiple turbines, generating electricity.

The new acquisition will join a plethora of renewable energy plants already held by the Google brand, including Shepherds Flat Wind Farm in Oregon, a solar wind farm in Brandenburg an der Havel, and an offshore wind cable stretching from New Jersey to Virginia.

On the subject of its new solar tower power plant, Google commented: “We need smart capital to transform our energy sector and build a clean energy future. This is our largest investment to date, and we’ve now invested over $250m in the clean energy sector. We’re excited about Ivanpah because our investment will help deploy a compelling solar energy technology that provides reliable clean energy, with the potential to significantly reduce costs on future projects.”

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