Google and Norwegian power company Scatec Solar have teamed up to build Utah’s largest solar power plant, making this project Google’s eighteenth renewable energy investment.
Google and Scatec, along with Prudential Capital Group, are investing about $188 million in the Utah Red Hills Renewable Energy Park. Google has invested over $1.5 billion in solar and wind projects across three continents with a total planned capacity of more than 2.5 gigawatts – enough electricity to far exceed the amount Google itself consumes, according to sources at Google.
The company aims to reduce its carbon footprint and increasingly uses solar to power its huge data centers. Solar investments are attractive because, after the initial investments, there are low operational costs and no risk that input fuel costs will spike, in contrast to traditional power projects, according to the managing director of Scatec Solar North America.
The project is expected to be up and running by the end of the year, and is expected to generate roughly 210 million kilowatt-hours of electricity a year, enough for approximately 18,500 homes.