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Microsoft's John MathenyMatheny (right), joined by Mountain View City Council member Greg Perry (second from right), gets set to turn on the software giant's solar panel system.
Solar panels were installed on four of the five buildings on the campus, a system that Microsoft calls the largest of its kind in the area. The solar electric system, composed of 2,288 tiles dispersed on the roofs of the four buildings, generates 480 kilowatts at peak capacity, or roughly 15 percent of the total daily power demand. That's enough energy to power 500 homes.
"It's not about the money. It's the right thing to do," said Matheny.
Statistics illustrate the benefits of Microsoft's new solar panel system, which is from Berkeley company called PowerLight. The system consists of solar panels that convert sunlight into electricity, sparing the environment emissions like carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide that contribute to smog, acid rain and global warming. Microsoft expects the system to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 4,000 tons over 30 years.
The solar panels are designed to deliver energy from the sun during peak summer months and offset reliance on the local energy grid. The solar panel system covers 31,000 square feet.