Google today announced a new partnership with SolarCity, committing $280 million from its coffers to finance SolarCity installations, namely solar rooftops for homes in North America.
The partnership brings Google employees a discount on residential solar installations and services from SolarCity. On a worldwide basis, according to the company’s last quarterly earnings report, Google employs about 26,300 full-time.
Earlier this month, SolarCity locked a commitment from U.S. Bancorp that put them past the $1 billion mark in terms of financing capacity. Google becomes the company’s seventh major financing partner.
Rick Needham, director of green business operations at Google wrote about the deal in a company blog post this morning:
“[At Google, we] believe the world needs a wide range of clean energy options in the future, each serving different needs. We’ve already invested in several large-scale renewable energy projects…We think ‘distributed’ renewable energy (generated and used right at home) is a smart way to use solar photovoltaic (PV) technology to improve our power system since it helps avoid or alleviate distribution constraints on the traditional electricity grid.”
Google also put $168 million in project financing into the BrightSource Ivanpah solar power tower project. Back in 2006, Google installed solar panels at its own Mountain View campus, too.
Google’s support of solar infrastructure dovetails nicely with Google Ventures’ investments in smart grid startups. Their portfolio includes Silver Spring Networks and Transphorm, for example. The more homes and businesses are rigged up with solar panels, and able to generate and distribute power back through the grid, the more data such companies will have to process on behalf of utilities.
Founded in 2006, SolarCity is a full-service solar provider for homeowners, businesses and government organizations. It provides solar power system design, financing, installation, energy efficiency and monitoring services. SolarCity’s operations are in Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington D.C. According to the company’s website, SolarCity’s founders believe that the environmental impact of energy production is one of the greatest challenges that our planet will face in the near future, and the...
Google provides search and advertising services, which together aim to organize and monetize the world’s information. In addition to its dominant search engine, it offers a plethora of online tools and platforms including: Gmail, Maps, YouTube, and Google+, the company’s extension into the social space. Most of its Web-based products are free, funded by Google’s highly integrated online advertising platforms AdWords and AdSense. Google promotes the idea that advertising should be highly targeted and relevant to users thus providing...
Google Ventures is the financially motivated venture capital arm of Google Inc., founded in 2009. Google Ventures invests in startups in industries including consumer Internet, software, hardware, clean-tech, bio-tech, health care and others. They aim to invest about $100 million a year, with deal sizes ranging from seed to late-stage investments of tens of millions of dollars, depending on the stage of the opportunity and the company’s need for capital. Google Ventures currently invests in the U.S. and has offices in...