Google, KKR Invest in Solar Power

Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL  ) is continuing to devote some of its war chest to the cause of renewable energy. It has teamed up with private equity stalwart KKR (NYSE: KKR  ) and solar specialist Recurrent Energy to invest in six photovoltaic power plants located in California and Arizona. The total dollar figure was not specified, although Google said its share was roughly $80 million. The full investment is a mix of equity from it and KKR, plus debt financing. 

Recurrent Energy is currently developing and will manage the plants.

The combined production capacity of the six facilities is 106 megawatts, which the companies say is sufficient to power 17,000 homes. Energy generated from them will be distributed to local energy providers under long-term power purchase agreements. Five are located in Southern California. All six are expected to come onstream in January.

This is not the first renewable power grid investment project launched by the three companies as a team. In December 2011, they combined to fund a portfolio of four facilities built by Recurrent Energy near California's capital, Sacramento. According to Google, the four have a combined capacity of 88 megawatts, enough to power more than 13,000 homes. Google's contribution to that effort was $94 million in equity. Those plants are currently producing electricity.  

Google pointed out that the current project is its 14th in the renewable energy sphere. 


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