Google Continues Commitment to Clean Energy by Boosting Solar Deployment in California and Arizona

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Google and KKR invest in six solar PV projects currently being developed by Recurrent Energy. The solar facilities, located in California and Arizona, will have a combined production capacity of about 106MW and will generate enough clean solar electricity to power more than 17,000 U.S. homes. Google’s investment in these facilities totals approximately $80 million.

Google and global investment firm KKR (NYSE: KKR) are making an investment in six solar PV facilities that are currently being developed and will be managed by Recurrent Energy. The solar facilities, located in California and Arizona, will have a combined production capacity of about 106MW and will generate enough clean solar electricity to power more than 17,000 U.S. homes. Google will make an investment in these facilities of approximately $80 million.

The solar facilities include five projects in Southern California and one in Arizona. The projects will provide electricity to local utilities and municipal offtakers, including Southern California Edison (SCE), under long-term Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs).

The six projects are expected to be operational by January 2014. Capital for the projects, plus debt financing, was provided by equity investments from Google and KKR.

The investment is similar to one announced in December 2011, when Google teamed up with KKR and invested $94 million in four utility-scale solar facilities near Sacremento, California. Those facilities were also developed by Recurrent Energy. 

“Google and KKR’s continued partnership with Recurrent Energy showcases their strong commitment to a clean energy future,” said Arno Harris, CEO of Recurrent Energy. “Their leadership in clean energy investment further validates solar as an integral part of our energy economy.”

This is Google’s 14th renewable energy investment; to date the company has committed more than $1 billion to renewable energy across a wide range of technologies, from offshore transmission to the world’s largest wind and solar power projects. In October, Google invested $103M in the 265.7MW Mount Signal Solar project.

Other investments in solar PV by Google include:

  • A $12 million investment in the Jasper Power Project, a 94MW solar plant in the Northern Cape province of South Africa (May 2013).
  • A $94 million investment in four solar PV projects totaling 88MW, built by Recurrent Energy near Sacramento, California (December 2011).
  • A $75 million investment to create a fund with Clean Power Finance (CPF) to help 3,000 homeowners go solar (September 2011).
  • A $280 million investment — the largest deal of its kind to date — in a SolarCity fund that helped 8,000 residential customers go solar through a solar lease or power purchase agreements (June 2011).
  • A €3.5 million investment — approximately $4.7 million at the current exchange rate — in a solar facility in Brandenburg, Germany. The 18.7MW project was Google’s first international investment.


Companies like Google and Ikea wouldn’t be jumping on the solar bandwagon in such a big way if it didn’t make financial sense. As market conditions continue to improve for solar, moves like Google’s reinforce the transformation that’s happening in how our energy is delivered.

And Google shows no signs of slowing down its solar deployment. In an article on Google’s blog, Kojo Ako-Asare, Head of Corporate Finance for Google, wrote: “You’d think the thrill might wear off this whole renewable energy investing thing after a while. Nope—we’re still as into it as ever, which is why we’re so pleased to announce our 14th investment.”

“Investing in renewable energy is core to Google’s values—we believe strongly in making investments that are both good for the environment and good for business,” commented Ako-Asare. “We’re proud to continue our partnership with KKR and Recurrent Energy by investing in these fantastic solar facilities.”

“This partnership is ultimately about growing our clean energy resources in North America,” said Ravi Gupta, a senior member of KKR’s Infrastructure team. “As states like California and Arizona adopt high standards for the use of renewable energy, we believe private capital partners can play an important role in helping them meet those goals.”