Google Announces Another Major Solar Power Investment

Hard on the heels of Google’s recent multi-million dollar investment in a German solar farm, the company has announced it is sinking a massive USD$168 million into a solar power tower in the USA.
Google has poured a ton of its cash into BrightSource Energy’s Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System (ISEGS) in the Mojave Desert in California. 
The 392 megawatt project will generate enough solar electricity to supply the power requirements of 140,000 homes – equivalent to taking 90,000 cars off the road over the lifetime of the plant; which is expected to be 25 years.
According to Google, “The investment makes business sense and will help ensure that one of the world’s largest solar energy projects is completed.” 
The Ivanpah Power Tower will be approximately 137 metres high and will use 173,000 heliostats. The heliostats, each consisting of two mirrors, will focus sunlight on a solar receiver atop the tower. Pressurised steam in created in the receiver, which is then piped to turbines to generate electricity.
Construction of Brightsource’s Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System began in October 2010 and is expected to be completed some time in 2013. It will be the largest solar farm of its kind upon completion.
“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,” said a Google statement.
The latest investment has seen the search giant having invested over a quarter of a billion dollars in the clean energy sector to date. The company now has interests in solar thermal, solar PV, wind energy, fuel cell development and associated renewable energy infrastructure; along with major in-house programs and initiatives to green its own internal operations.