Google announced last week it has invested $168 million into a new solar power tower plant to be built in the Mojave Desert in California by BrightSource energy. The new solar plant called the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System (ISEGS) will look similar to the image above, and will generate 392MW over the plant’s lifetime (over 25 years).
Google’s renewable energy track record
This solar investment isn’t the first time Google has invested in renewable energy systems. In 2008 Google invested $11 million into geothermal energy research, and in late 2010 the search engine giant paid for 114MW of renewable energy from a wind farm in Iowa.
What Google thinks about the clean energy future
It’s undeniable that Google is setting the standard for businesses looking to go Green – so much so, in fact, that Greenpeace is campaigning for Facebook to follow their lead. Here’s what Google had to say about their newest investment into the solar power tower project:
We need smart capital to transform our energy sector and build a clean energy future. This is our largest investment to date, and we’ve now invested over $250 million in the clean energy sector.
Although the cost should be considered in proportion to the amount of money Google has, $250 million is still an incredible amount to invest into renewable energy, and they certainly deserve credit for the difference they are making.
How the solar power tower plant works
Also known as concentrated solar, the solar power tower plant works by having many rows of mirrors directing concentrated sunlight towards one receiver (or panel) at the top of a tower that turns the sunlight into power. Although it’s not something that can be done anywhere, with $168 million and a lot of space in the desert, Google can do just about anything. Look forward to construction on the state of the art plant finishing in 2013.