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Google plans largest U.S. solar-powered office

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|DRC| Iceman

Wednesday, October 25 2006, 00:50:41 #37232     Google plans largest U.S. solar-powered office


Tue Oct 17, 7:01 AM

By Eric Auchard and Leonard Anderson

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Google Inc. plans a solar-powered electricity system at its Silicon Valley headquarters that will rank as the largest U.S. solar-powered corporate office complex, the company said on Monday.

The Web search leader said it is set to begin building a rooftop solar-powered generation system at its Mountain View, California, headquarters capable of generating 1.6 megawatts of electricity, or enough to power 1,000 California homes.

"This is the largest customer-owned solar electric system at a corporate site," said Noah Kaye, director of public affairs at the Solar Energy Industries Association, an industry group based in Washington, D.C.

A Google executive said the company will rely on solar power to supply nearly a third of the electricity consumed by office workers at its roughly one-million-square-foot headquarters. This excludes power consumed by data centers that power many of Google's Web services worldwide, he said.

"We are going to be producing roughly 30 percent of the power that we use," David Radcliffe, vice president of real estate at Google, told Reuters in an interview. "This is for our corporate-office people center," he said.

Radcliffe declined to comment on the cost of the project or whether the solar generation equipment might pay for itself over time. "We wanted to dispel the myth that you can't be both Green and profitable," he said.

While the move marks a major demonstration of support for alternative energy, the project may only make only a small dent in the overall amount of energy consumed by Google. A utility industry rule of thumb is that data centers consume 10 times more electricity than buildings used to house office workers.

Most of the solar panels will sit on the rooftops of office buildings in the Googleplex -- the pet name for the site. Others will provide shaded parking as part of newly constructed solar-panel canopies over existing Google car parking lots.

Earlier this year, Google rival Microsoft got the jump on Google with a 2,288-panel solar system at its research site in Mountain View that is expected to produce 480 kilowatts at peak capacity, the first large-scale use of solar power at any Microsoft office worldwide.

Silicon Valley's Cypress Semiconductor , majority owner of solar cell maker SunPower Corp. , has a 336-kilowatt system generating more than 10 percent of its corporate-office electricity needs, spokesman Matt Beevers said.

The consulting arm of Energy Innovations Inc., a company supported by venture backer Idealabs, has built 12 large-scale solar projects across California and is managing construction of the Google project.

Prior installations include the Richmond, California campus of Berlex, a unit of German drugmaker Schering AG , Sonoma State University and the Marin County General Services Building.

Sharp Electronics is supplying 9,212 solar panels for the Google project. Sharp Corp. , parent of the solar panel maker, has a 5.2 megawatt solar generation system, the world's largest corporate solar system, at a Kameyama, Japan factory.

The world's largest dedicated solar-powered generation station is a 12-megawatt facility in Arnstein, Germany, near Frankfurt. The top U.S. dedicated solar facility generates 4.6 megawatts and sits in the Arizona desert near Tucson, according to a solar generation database compiled by PVResources.com (http://www.pvresources.com/en/top50pv.php).

On-site electricity will help Google offset the price of power fueled by natural gas and delivered through the local grid by Pacific Gas & Electric Co., a unit of PG&E Corp. and Google's main energy provider.

(Additional reporting by Bernie Woodall in Los Angeles)

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|DRC| psycheus

Thursday, October 26 2006, 08:31:17 #37309     

That's sweet, I actually heard about this on the news the other day.
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|DRC| Iceman

Thursday, October 26 2006, 13:22:37 #37321     

Its great to see that they are looking to the future Good
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|DRC| psycheus

Thursday, October 26 2006, 18:07:57 #37333     

Yes, solar and other green energy is wonderful. I think the only reason that we don't have more is the dumb asses running the US are into oil and it's not in their interest to promote environmentlly friendly energy. I can't remember where I saw, maybe news paper or online but I think it said something like if an eighth or quarter of Arizona was covered in solar panels it would power the whole country.

On green energy I heard on the news the other day that they are bringing down DC Powerlines using "Green Energy" from Canada all the way to Southern California. They said it produces around 7500 MW of power or good for around 3 million homes.
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|DRC| Iceman

Friday, October 27 2006, 00:33:36 #37342     

Thats great info psy! I can believe that as well, but I find too many people are stuck in the petroleum days. Just because it has been that way throughout history (basing our energy resources on fosil fuels) doesn't mean it has to be like that in the future!

Every Countries government need to pull their fingers out of their asses, and get a plan into motion so that future generations will have fresh air to breathe, and so they won't have to dress up in alumimun just to leave their homes. People laugh now, and say "meh we will never see it." and all the other ignorant lines they can come up with as well, and they are right. WE will never see it, but future generations WILL unless WE do something about it.

It's really great to see big companies like Google taking a stand on this, and I say Kudos to them. In fact I may actually look into buying some shares now to support them. Mark my words, other large corporations will see what they are doing, and will follow their lead. Why? Because in this day and age everyone is copy cat, and can't think for themselves. In this case it is a good thing, and I hope they all do.

Europe has had wind power mills now for years, and FINALLY I see them starting to build a few around here to "test" how much energy they can generate.

Are we fucking morons or what!? We have to test something that has been running effectivley for YEARS!!!!?? LMAO ....All I can do is shake my head and laugh, but the good news is they are working toward it. Maybe in another 50 years we will be to where Europe was 20 years ago from today ROFL

A smart government should seek out other countries who are currently using these methods for power, and get their advice instead of thinking we know it all when we really don't. Learn from those who know, and save yourself years of trial and error in the process. Both Canada and US governments are much to stupid for that though! LOL
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