Google and KKR Invest $400M to Boost Solar Energy

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Written By: Emma Websdale

Technology giant Google has announced its 14th clean-energy investment this week after teaming up with equity company KKR to invest $400 million in six solar power plants.
4026693829Google, which has invested over $1 billion into renewable energy projects, is working with KKR to increase the percent of utilities running on solar energy in California and Arizona. With both sunny states mandating that utilities increase their use of renewable resources, the area has begun attracting developers of solar facilities.

This is the second time that Google, KKR, and Recurrent have teamed up on a clean-energy project. In 2011, the trio invested in and developed four solar projects generating 88MW of energy in Sacramento, California.

“Investing in renewable energy is core to Google’s values—we believe strongly in making investments that are both good for the environment and good for business”, says Kojo Ako-Asare, head of corporate finance for Google. “We’re proud to continue our partnership with KKR and Recurrent Energy by investing in these fantastic solar facilities.”

Six plants, five in southern California and one in Arizona, will be built by Recurrent Energy LLC and will generate approximately 106 megawatts (MW) of clean energy—enough to power 17,000 homes. The goal is to have all six plants connected to the grid in January 2014.

By investing $80 million in the new deal, Google is strengthening its commitment to clean energy. The company has also invested in wind-farm developments in the Mojave Desert and North Dakota. Investment firm KKR has financed a wind-farm development in France and solar power facilities in Canada, the U.S., and Spain. With a 2-gigawatt (GW) project pipeline and more than 700 MW of signed contracts across the U.S and Canada, Recurrent holds one of the largest solar development portfolios in North America.

The partnership’s latest project comes as the U.S. solar market continues to grow following an increase in government policies and initiatives supporting renewable energy production, including the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Rooftop Solar Challenge.