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Google is planning a solar-powered electricity system at its Silicon Valley headquarters that will rank as the largest US solar-powered corporate office complex.
The web search leader said it is set to begin building a rooftop solar-powered generation system at its Mountain View, California, headquarters capable of generating 1.6 megawatts of electricity, or enough to power 1,000 California homes.
Noah Kaye, director of public affairs at the Solar Energy Industries Association, an industry group based in Washington, DC, said: "This is the largest customer-owned solar electric system at a corporate site."
Third Of GooglePlex To Be Powered By The Sun [management.silicon.com]
Depending on precise meanings, this could require in the region of 50,000 sq metres of roof space, possibly more. I've read that the plex is ~1 million sq feet - that's around 100,000 sq metres. So if my maths is correct, unless it is arranged entirely over two floors, it doesn't look as though they have enough roof space for that kind of power generation.
Maybe it might peak at ~1.6 MW but I can't see them reaching that value as an average power output.
You may have heard it but unless Google has magically developed some startlingly new technology or done some fantastic price deal on green energy (which I doubt since it's entirely for company use) it's not going to happen.
I heard it was going to pay for itself in 5 years which makes me wonder why more companies do not do this...
I heard the same - from the blurb they sent out.
Unfortunately, that is pure baloney.
At the very best, if they get maximum tax writeoffs, incentives, and state rebates you are looking at 12 years bare minimum, with 15 years being more realistic.