Google builds largest solar network for Google's HQ

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With a total capacity of 1.6 megawatts — enough to supply 1,000 average California homes — Google's headquarters will be the largest solar installation on any corporate campus in the United States and one of the largest on any corporate site in the world, according to the search engine specialist.

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This is cool

Kudos to Google.

I can only applaud this,

I can only applaud this, It's a good use of a vast roof space, I'm sure Google HQ uses plenty of power and it sets a good example for other corporate barons.

I have a K-mart calculator that is solar powered, does that count?

Balance?

Kudos?
And how much energy from conventional resources went into production of the solar panels, whats their likely life and how long is payback time?
Window dressing?

Realistically speaking...

...the energy costs for making a single solar panel can't have been much more than the net price of same panel.

Building on that, I presume that if it's cost-effective it's prolly energy-effective (and environmentally sound) as well.

Pardon me if my view is too simplistic. Cuz maybe they are not doing it for the money but rather to impress the public eh....

Maybe A Bigger Plan?

I would love it if Google's use of solar power encouraged more companies to install solar panels, creating more technological innovation and more demand that would eventually mean cost savings for similar products for home use.

I've looked into solar panels for home use but the costs are extreme and the payoff is something like 15-20 years in energy savings... most current home panels can only power a water heater or smaller appliances.

Ah cabbage

It's an old canard that solar panels use more energy to make than they produce. If that was ever true, and I doubt that it ever was, it certainly isn't true with the newer, more efficient panels.

Google will get good PR out of this. They also may get a tax break under California law. But aside from all that, they are doing the right thing.

Now, if they can just get to getting their SERPs straightened out.

I am glad they are doing it

I am glad they are doing it even if it si a waste of conventional resources...

Google showed corporations that it is possible to run a big company on open source. Maybe they can show that it is possible to run off the grid as well...or at least somewhat off the grid.

Green Power

Google's main limitation for expansion was that they relied entirely on green power.

I heard this during an interview with a high level Google official.

So this removes this limitation, and could allow them to implement processes that Google could not launched due to the simple lack of green power to their processors.

So, now you have packs of hungry googledrons ready to be fed.
Which pack will be fed first would be my question.

All they reall need is a

All they really need is a Delorean and they could easily produce 1.21 jigawatts.

I had heard the financial payback for similar roof mounted solar panels was over 10 years. However there are other benefits such as reducing greenhouse gases.

This is win win for Google. More companies that can afford it should follow their example.

>> the payoff is something

>> the payoff is something like 15-20 years in energy savings.

Not true, quite. The energy payoff (capturing more energy than was used in their production) is about 5 years tops, in a modern manufacturing facility, and may be as low as 6 months in ideal circumstances.

The *cost* payoff is longer - you're paying for a lot of skilled work, expensive machinery etc too. As time goes on, and efficiency increases, both in terms of output and reducing manufactuing overhead, both of these figures will improve.

Eventually, I'd expect that PV cells il actually be a real, viable power source, certainly in sunnier areas of the world. You could cover over the Sahara, and more or less power the whole of Africa off it, I reckon. A shade impractical, perhaps...

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