Google HQ to Run Partly on Solar Power

Dennis Faas's picture

Hoping to set an example of environmental responsibility for American corporations, Google Inc. is converting its California-based headquarters to run partly on solar power. Google's solar power project was announced during a solar energy conference in Silicon Valley last week.

Largest Corporate Solar Power Endeavor

Being hailed as the largest solar power endeavour by a U.S. corporation, Google is planning on installing over 9,200 solar panels on its Mountain View campus by next spring. The installed solar panels will deliver 1.6 megawatts of electricity, which is enough to power approximately 1,000 homes. (Source:

Robyn Beavers, Google's Corporate Environmental Programs Manager, explains that "the panels will cover the roofs of the four main buildings of the Googleplex [the nickname for Google's headquarters], and also those of two additional buildings across the street. There will also be a portion of this installation on new solar panel support structures in a few parking lots." (

Environmental Responsibility and Saving Energy Costs

Google co-founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin are big supporters of alternative energy solutions -- but Google's solar powered initiative will also benefit the company's bottom line in reducing energy costs. Energy expenditures are a major concern at Google, as an enormous amount of power is required to run the computers to keep the company's search engine running.

Although the costs of the project have not yet been revealed, the expected energy savings garnered from the use of the solar energy panels are anticipated to recoup the project's initial costs within 5 to 10 years. (Source:

In her blog entry, Beavers indicates that the electricity produced by the solar power will offset approximately 30% of the company's electricity consumption in those buildings.

"The installation of clean and renewable power represents a first step in reducing our environmental impact as a company," says Beavers. "We believe that improving our environmental practices is not only our responsibility as a corporate citizen, but good business planning." (

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