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On Thursday Google (s GOOG) announced its 13th investment in a clean energy project over a three year period — the clean energy from all of these projects, like solar and wind farms, is enough to power 500,000 (U.S.) homes and Google has put in over $1 billion into these ventures. This time, the project is a large solar panel farm that’s being built in the Imperial County in California, and Google is investing $103 million into it.
When fully constructed the solar panel farm, called Mount Signal Solar, will provide 265.7 MW of power, or enough for 80,000 homes. Utility San Diego Gas & Electric will buy all of the power from the project, and the farm is owned and will be operated by Silver Ridge Power (previously called AES Solar).
Google is supporting clean energy in a variety of ways. The search engine giant wants to increase the amount of clean power that runs its data centers, but these clean energy projects are not always in the right places at the right times to directly power a Google data center. So Google invests in clean energy farms like Mount Signal Solar, in a way to get these on the grid. But solar farm investors also make money off of their investments, so Google says this is a way to make a financial gain, as well, as help their commitment to clean power. Google also has sustainability goals to reduce its carbon footprint.