Google to build largest US Corporate Solar Installation

Google to build largest US Corporate Solar Installation
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October 18, 2006 In a move sure to win it some brownie points on the corporate responsibility scale, Google is constructing a solar electricity system which will become the largest solar installation on any corporate campus in the United States. The 1.6 megawattproject will provide enough green energy to supply 1,000 average California homes using rooftop and parking-lot panels. The project will involve 9,212 solar panels provided by Sharp Electronics. A majority will be placed on the rooftops of some of the buildings in the Googleplex (pictured) and others will provide shaded parking as part of newly constructed solar panel support structures on existing Google parking lots. The solar energy will be used to power several of Google's Mountain View office facilities.

EI Solutions, the systems integration arm of Energy Innovations, has the job and will begin constructing the solar electricity system shortly. With a total capacity of 1.6 megawatts –– the Google system will be the largest solar installation on any corporate campus in the United States and one of the largest on any corporate site in the world.

“We are pleased to be working with EI Solutions to undertake this major initiative to bring green energy to the Google campus,” said David Radcliffe, vice president of real estate at Google. “When the project is completed this spring, Google employees, shareholders and the community around us will begin to enjoy the environmental as well as economic benefits of clean, renewable energy generated on-site.”

“It is a distinct pleasure to be involved with a company such as Google, which is committed to investing in alternatives to traditional fuel sources,” said Andrew Beebe, president of EI Solutions. “Their understanding that solar electricity can provide tangible environmental benefits in an economically sound manner should be a model for other companies in California and throughout the US.”

“We are particularly delighted with the extensive use of Sharp’s cutting-edge technologies in this project as they’re a natural match for companies looking to effectively generate green energy,” noted Ron Kenedi, vice president, Solar Energy Solutions Group, Sharp Electronics.

A three-dimensional representation of how the project may look once completed can be viewed online at www.eispv.com. Visitors to the Solar Power 2006 conference and exhibition in San Jose, October 16-19, 2006, can also view these renderings and discuss the project with EI Solutions management at Booth 517.

EI Solutions is one of California’s fastest-growing providers of large-scale solar power systems. The company has completed projects for a wide variety of public agencies and private companies, including the Las Gallinas Valley Sanitary District in San Rafael, California; Berlex’s Richmond California campus; Swinerton Property Services’California offices in Concord and Irvine; Seghesio Family Vineyards; Sonoma State University; and the Marin County General Services Building. EI Solutions is a division of Energy Innovations, Inc. of Pasadena. Energy Innovations is building the world's first rooftop tracking solar concentrator, designed to drive down the cost of solar energy below the price of utility-supplied electricity.

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This is a good move. When a corporation has the excess money to spend to afford such an expensive system, it is good they are doing so. So far I know I cannot afford this in my own house b/c by the time the savings pay off the initial outlay, the system is old enough to need replacement :^(