Google announced this week that they are investing $280 million in solar installers such as SolarCity. These installers are in the business of installing solar panels on houses, and the influx of money from Google will help these companies provide solar roofs to homeowners with no down payment needed. So households will be able to go solar with no upfront costs – instead, the homeowners will pay a fixed amount for the energy produced by the solar panels.
Google’s return on investment comes from the interest on the money that it’s providing to these companies, and they’ll also garner carbon credits and federal and state renewable energy tax credits. The money is being put in a fund that can be used by the installers (SolarCity, SunRun, and Sungevity are a few of the companies). Google believes that an investment of this size will lead to about 10,000 solar roofs being installed in about a year and a half. The program is going to start in California, but will expand to several states. For example, SolarCity is planning to install solar roofs in Arizona, Colorado, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington.
Google’s has been investing alot of money in renewable energy projects – this deal represents the seventh such big investment. Larry Page, the CEO and cofounder of Google, wants Google to eventually produce zero greenhouse emissions, and these investments are just one way Google’s working to achieve that goal. So far, they’ve invested millions in wind farms in North Dakota, California, and Oregon, solar plants in California and Germany, and an offshore wind farm project that’s just getting started off the East Coast of the U.S.