Inflation, Investing and Everything
Google plans to build a massive solar-electricity system to help power parts of its Mountain View, Calif., campus that it says will benefit both the environment and its bottom line. The system, to be built by EI Solutions, will use 9,212 solar panels and have a total capacity of 1.6 megawatts, or enough electricity to supply 1,000 average California homes. That will satisfy 30% of the campus' peak electricity needs.
The installation at Google's headquarters, known as the Googleplex, will begin next month and will be completed in the spring. It will be the largest solar-power system ever constructed at a U.S. corporate campus and one of the largest on any corporate site in the world, EI Solutions said. The solar panels, which cover an area equal to about four acres [16,187 sq m], will be installed on the roofs of some campus buildings and double as shading for cars in parking lots. Most of the panels will be made by Sharp Electronics.
The system will work seamlessly with the power grid, allowing Google to draw more energy from the grid when the panels aren't providing enough power due to a lack of sun. It will also allow Google to sell the utility power at times when the panels generate too much energy. Andrew Beebe, president of EI Solutions, said companies are becoming increasingly interested in solar power as their electricity bills mount and the costs of solar power decline. Corporate America is reaching a tipping point where "people are making these decisions on an economic basis," he said.
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