In Partnership with SolarCity, They Want to Put Solar Panels on Your RoofGoogle has just announced its biggest clean energy investment yet, a $280M fund to finance residential solar panel installations across the US. They are partnering with SolarCity (Tesla 's CEO Elon Musk is their chairman and an early investor), a "provider of solar energy system design, financing, installation and related services" (by leasing the panels from them, you can eliminate the big upfront cost yet still benefit form lower bills). This bring Google's total clean energy investments to an eye-popping $680M.
"In SolarCity's innovative financing model, the company covers installation and maintenance of the system over the life of the lease. You can prepay, or pay nothing upfront after which you make monthly solar lease payments."
Check out the video below for a bit more details:
Making Solar Cost-Effective in the Short-Term
What's so great about this is that it addresses the main barrier to entry when it comes to residential solar power: High upfront costs. Knowing that they'll save over the long-term isn't enough for most people if they have to pay tens of thousands of dollars right away, but if a deal is structured in such a way that the price of leasing solar equipment is lower than current power bills, almost all of the pain of going solar is eliminated. In short, it's a brilliant way to keep the benefits and remove the negatives.
SolarCity installs panel technologies ranging in high efficiency from Sanyo to lower efficiency, cost-efficient thin-film solar modules from First Solar as well as string ribbon from Evergreen Solar, Sharp, Yingli, Kyocera and Suntech Power, among others.
For more on Google's clean energy investments, check out the links below. They've really being going all out lately...
More on Google's Clean Energy Investments
Google Invests $55 Million in California's Massive 1,550MW Alta Wind Farm
Google Invests $168 Million in 392MW Mojave Desert Solar Thermal Plant
Google Invests $100m in What Will be the World's Largest Wind Farm (845 MW)