Google to get 30 percent of its power from the sun

Google to get 30 percent of its power from the sun

Summary: Google says its solar power project at its Mountain View headquarters is more than 90 percent complete. Google also projects that it will meet 30 percent of its peak electricity demand from solar panels.

TOPICS: Google

Google says its solar power project at its Mountain View headquarters is more than 90 percent complete. Google also projects that it will meet 30 percent osolar1.pngf its peak electricity demand from solar panels.

In its corporate blog, Google outlined that in the last 24 hours it produced 9,967 kilowatt-hours of electricity from the sun. The panels reside on the rooftops of eight buildings and two carports at the Googleplex.

Google also provided a page where you can monitor the solar electricity generated daily.

Perhaps Google will use solar panels to power those fancy data centers it is building. See video on the effort.

Topic: Google

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Well

    they wasted a lot of money on an inefficient technology and will waste more keeping it going (breakage, dust removal), but, hey, they feel good about themselves and that's all that counts, right?

    I guess it's a growing trend among the environmental movement to think they can dictate the laws of physics with a wave of their hands. Witness the new CAFE laws.
    • Everything you buy requires maintenance.

      Just because the power company does your maintenance for you doesnt mean there isnt maintenance.

      Think of it this way.. they spent money on something that will pay for itself. They may break even, but atleast they would have prevented some pollution.

      Its not 100%, which is the solution i am looking for.
    • Seems like they wasted a lot of money on other stuff too.

      Buildings, computers, furniture, all those need maintenance and cleaning too.

      You have shares in Exxon or something?
    • Nope!

      They invested in a solid return in the future. Your totally clueless rants against solar leads one to believe you are affiliated with the petroleum companies.

      Hate to bust your bubble (okay, no I don't!) but solar works, works well and is worth the investment. Just because you don't see an immediate fiscal return does not make it a bad investment.

      As for maintenance and cleaning... annual cleanings at worst and they consist of nothing more than a garden hose to wash anything off. Sorry but solar arrays are performing wonderful and have at least a 40 year life expectancy. That's 40 years of production capacity with a net positive impact on the environment.

      As for these laws of physics, what the f*** are you on about!? You keep spouting this law of physics shyte but never state what law(s) and how they are being broken. Until you do, STFU. ]:)
      Linux User 147560
    • Was it cost effective?

      We don't have the numbers to know. But one thing we do know is in the last 24 hours they generated 9,967 kilowatt-hours of electricity that [b]didn't[/b] have to come from burning fossil fuels, and will continue to do so. Does it require maintenance? Sure it does. But I'd be willing to bet the maintenance costs are smaller than other generating facilities. No moving parts is a [b]big[/b] plus.
    • The installation pays for itself in 7.5 years

      With an expected life of 40 years, sounds like a good investment to me.
  • Its a start

    Although it will not be "free" energy (maintanance issues, etc.), its a start and companies doing things like this will push the industry (solar, etc.) to more efficient, better systems. Its not a cure all of anything, but we have to start somewhere. No matter where you are on Global Warming, its a geological impossibility that we have enough oil or coal forever.
  • Could work out better then we imagined

    with global warming being the issue today, this may be a better solution for the future not only in lowering the amount of polutents in the air, but heat as well.

    Evey bit of solar energy converted to electricity is that much less available to be converted to heat. Will there ever be enough solar panels to siphon off enough heat to make a difference? Probally not, but who knows.
  • I love bastardized numbers

    30% of peak demand is not 30% of their electricity. At night the solar array is generating 0% of googles electricity. I am sure at noon when all the offices are open on a sunny day the array can produce 30% of the electricity. But at 5:00 pm how much is it producing?

    We the whole truth not just selected parts of it.
    • Headlines vs. story

      Granted ZDNet's headlines can be a little misleading, but don't pretty much all journalists use sensationalist headlines to get you to read the article? If you read the 2nd sentence of the article, it does say "[i]Google also projects that it will meet 30 percent of it's peak electricity demand from solar panels.[/i]" so where's the beef?
    • Also, this is just their Head Quarter's power usage

      Also, this is just their Head Quarter's power usage. This isn't Google's total power usage. The real power usage is from those data centers.
  • What about an orbiting mirror?

    This way they can capture energy 24X7. Oh Yeah!

    I'm just wondering how much underlying fossil fuel went into the production of all those solar panels...I mean they had to get the raw materials from somewhere, they had to use electricity to produce the panels, they had to use trucks to transport the panels.

    Wouldn't it be better to reduce your workforce by say 50% and thereby reduce the consumption of energy, or how about increasing the query response time to say .5 seconds and remove like 200K machines...that would be a nice reduction.

    Are solar panels the most cost effective solution? What about wind power? What about a tidal dam? I mean that's pretty cool too. Use the power of the moon to generate power...

    Solar is so last century.
    • Last century? What planet are you in?

      We have to use renewable resources like the energy from the sun, wind, etc. to convert into electrical energy. Coal is a non-renewable resource. Power plants give out carbon dioxide, including vehicles. It'll all take time to find ways to use renewable resources for daily use.

      Saying that solar is old century tells me you need to learn the difference between non-renewable and renewable natural resources.
      Grayson Peddie
  • What about Google's data centers?

    It would be more interesting to see if Google powers its data centers with renewable energy. What's the daily power consumption of a typical Google data center as compared to their office campus?