Google April 11 said it put $168 million into a solar energy power plant BrightSource Energy is building in California's Mojave Desert, easily the search engine's largest investment in clean energy to date.
Clean energy--also known as sustainable, renewable and green energy--includes hydroelectricity, solar energy, wind energy, wave power, geothermal energy, bioenergy and tidal power.
Brightsource's Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, which will also be financed by NRG and with clean energy technology loans from the U.S. Department of Energy, certainly falls in the solar energy category.
The plant employs a field of 173,000 heliostats, each with two mirrors, to redirect the sun's rays onto a solar receiver on top of a tower.
The solar receiver generates hot (up to 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit), high-pressure steam, which in turn spins a turbine and generator to make electricity.
When its construction is complete in 2013, the Ivanpah Power Tower will be roughly 450 feet tall and will generate 392 gross megawatts of clean solar energy.
Rick Needham, director of green business operations for Google, said this is the equivalent of taking more than 90,000 cars off the road over the projected 25-year lifetime of the facility.
"We're excited about Ivanpah because our investment will help deploy a compelling solar energy technology that provides reliable clean energy, with the potential to significantly reduce costs on future projects," Needham explained.
For more, read the eWEEK article: Google Pumps $168M into BrightSource Solar Power Tower.