6 Comments

Summary:

Google is investing millions of dollars into its second fund that will go toward installing solar panels on rooftops. On Tuesday Rick Needham, Google’s Director of Green Business Operations, announced that Google will invest $75 million into a solar fund for startup Clean Power Finance

Photo by Katie Fehrenbacher/Gigaom

Google is investing millions of dollars into its second fund that will go toward installing solar panels on rooftops. On Tuesday at the Renewable Energy Finance Forum in San Francisco, Rick Needham, Google’s Director of Green Business Operations, announced that Google will invest $75 million into a solar fund for startup Clean Power Finance. Clean Power Finance will use the money to support solar rooftop projects by third party installers.

Google announced its first investment into residential and distributed solar this Summer, via a $280 million fund for solar installer SolarCity. That investment was also Google’s largest clean power investment to date.

But given Clean Power Finance is a solar software and financing company, the startup will use Google’s dollars to work with a variety of solar installers across the country. Google says it likes this business model because it’s financing can be used by more solar installers in more places across the U.S., and the solar installer industry is very fragmented.

Google said in a blog post on Tuesday that via its solar funds: “We look forward to watching our funding help more than 10,000 homeowners generate clean electricity from the sun.” Google says with this latest $75 million it has now invested more than $850 million into developing clean energy.

Google, via its venture arm, also made an equity investment into Clean Power Finance, which was unveiled earlier this month. That round, which came to $25 million in total, also included Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and Claremont Creek Ventures. Clean Power Finance also previously raised funds from Clean Pacific Ventures, Sand Hill Angels and founder Gary Kremen, who is a long time entrepreneur and investor, and who previously founded of Match.com.

Clean Power Finance grew its business on providing Software-as-a-Service tools for solar installers to start the sales, rebate, and lead-gen processes. More recently it started providing power purchase agreements (PPAs) for rooftop solar for home owners. New financing models like PPAs and leases have been created in recent years to sell solar electricity at a fixed rate over a long-term contract, enabling customers to purchase rooftop solar for little or no money down. Other solar PPA and lease providers include Sungevity, SolarCity and SunRun.

You’re subscribed! If you like, you can update your settings

  1. Google invests a lot of money into loser projects. They’ll never see a huge return on this.

    1. Dude, Lots of room between “loser project” and “huge return”. You should re-evaluate your evaluation processes.

  2. @Katie THANK-YOU!! for writing an entire article about solar without mentioning the “S” word.

  3. Katie Fehrenbacher Tuesday, September 27, 2011

    @BongBong, Solar rooftops aren’t supposed to be huge returns they are supposed to be safe and long term investments.

  4. The gubmint is not picking favorites….but failures (like Solyndra)…now Goog wants to emulate them?

    No problem…

    After duh Goog investment Dudes exposure in PV (or Bloomboxes) reaches a certain percentage of their balance sheet, and if the housing market continues to decline, pulling the value of the PV assets with them, people will short their stock and watch it crash.

    And that is what makes a market!

    1. Google will do just fine, It is Texas Farmers who you need to worry about. So far this year, they have lost 5-10 Billion dollars in Livestock and Crop Losses due to Global Warming climate change. The Government will have to pick up those losses, which comes right back to the taxpayers. Think again, there is nothing for free, not even pollution. Polluters should be stuck with those costs, not taxpayers, now that is what makes a market.

Comments have been disabled for this post