Google getting close to $1B in clean energy projects

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Google’s investments in clean energy projects is climbing, and getting close to the $1 billion mark. On Tuesday the search engine giant announced that it has made yet another $94 million investment into four solar panel projects, which are being built by Recurrent Energy close to Sacramento, Calif. This latest investment brings Google’s clean power investments to more than $915 million.

The news comes despite Google’s decision to shut down its own in-house research initiative and equity investing focus on lowering the cost of clean power, called Renewable Energy Cheaper than Coal, or RE<C, which it launched back in 2007. But as I pointed out, Google’s investment in clean power projects — like its announcement today — and its development of energy efficiency data center technology have been far more important than the RE<C program.

The solar farms near Sacramento are Google’s first investment in utility-scale grid-connected solar panel projects, and Google made the investment into the 88 MW of solar alongside investment firm KKR and Recurrent Energy. The Sacramento Municipal Utility District will buy the power.

Here are Google’s clean power investments to date, in addition to these new solar PV plants near Sacramento:

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