Google invested $168 million in an solar energy power plant being developed by BrightSource Energy in the Mojave Desert in California. Brightsource’s Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System (ISEGS) will generate 392 gross MW of clean, solar energy. That's the equivalent of taking more than 90,000 cars off the road over the lifetime of the plant, projected to be more than 25 years. The investment makes business sense and will help ensure that one of the world's largest solar energy projects is completed.
"We're excited about Ivanpah because our investment will help deploy a compelling solar energy technology that provides reliable clean energy, with the potential to significantly reduce costs on future projects," stated Google.
Google's total investments in the clean energy sector are now over $250 million.
Several large solar projects are in the works in the sunny Southwest (and around the globe), but Ivanpah will be the first solar power tower system of this scale. The Ivanpah Power Tower will be approximately 450 feet tall and will use 173,000 heliostats, each with two mirrors. The project is being constructed by Bechtel, a major engineering firm. Construction began in October 2010, and is projected to finish in 2013.
The Ivanpah project will also be financed by NRG and with clean energy technology loan guarantees provided by the U.S. Department of Energy.
[Source: Google blog]