Google Going Solar, Again?

Google installed a 1.6 MW solar system at their Mountain View, California, headquarters in June 2007, making it the largest corporate installation at the time.

Today, they are considering investing in one or more renewable energy projects in order to expand their green portfolio. Here’s the original article from The Wall Street Journal.

Internet search giant Google Inc. (GOOG) plans to invest directly in one or more renewable energy projects as part of a broader move to expand investment in clean -energy technology, a company executive said Monday.

“It’s a logical step from technology investing,” said Dan Reicher, director of climate and energy initiatives.

Google issued a 20-year energy proposal last year that encourages greater use of conservation and renewable energy to combat climate change, and earlier this year the company released online software called Google PowerMeter that helps consumers track their home energy use., the company’s venture capital and “philanthropic” arm, has invested in two next-generation geothermal power startups. But aside from those investments, an internal energy-efficiency initiative and hints it is eyeing the nascent U.S. smart-grid market, Google has generally stayed on the sidelines of the energy markets.

Reicher said Google is considering investments in renewable energy projects and perhaps equity stakes in one or more companies, although he declined to say how much the company would spend and what technologies, such as solar, wind or geothermal power, the company was interested in.

“We’re looking at the whole spectrum,” Reicher said, speaking on the sidelines of a panel discussion of leading U.S. energy academics. He added Google saw direct investment in renewables as one way to “broaden” the company’s “impact on energy.” Renewable energy requirements in California and dozens of other states have been driving growth in the U.S. renewable energy markets, which could grow even more under pending legislation in Congress that would place a cap on greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and other industrial facilities and establish a national renewable energy mandate.