Monday, October 23, 2006

Google Goes Solar

Google plans to provide 30 percent of the electricity for its Mountain View headquarters complex in California with solar power. That sounds like a reasonable target because photovoltaics have a 30 percent capacity factor. The system will use 9,200 solar cells, which could power 1,000 homes. Google is not disclosing the purchase price (photovoltaics are expensive) but estimates are around $10 million with a 5 to 10 year payback. The system is being installed by Pasadena, Calif-based El Solutions, a division of Energy Innovations.

Google will still use power from the grid provided by Pacific Gas & Electric. That is the central weakness of Photovoltaic system - - they still need grid back up. (NYT)

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