Google backs wind energy in California desert

May 24, 2011
Cars and trucks pass windmills along the 10 freeway, near Banning, California. Google on Tuesday said it is investing $55 million into a California wind energy farm, raising to $400 million the amount of money the technology giant has pumped into clean energy projects.

Google on Tuesday said it is investing $55 million into a California wind energy farm, raising to $400 million the amount of money the technology giant has pumped into clean energy projects.

"The might be best known for its scorching sun and scary sidewinders," said Google director of green business operations Rick Needham.

"But the wind blows hard where the Mojave sands meet the Tehachapi Mountains in southern California, making it a great spot for ."

Citibank is investing in the Alta Wind Energy Center project with .

The companies will pay for Terra-Gen Power to build the wind farm and then lease it back to Terra-Gen to operate, with the electricity being delivered to Southern California Edison public utility.

The center is expected to be among the largest such facilities in the United States, generating enough electricity to power 450,000 homes.

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Sean_W
1 / 5 (1) May 24, 2011
Does Google feel the project has overcome the massive technical issues against wind or is it just unaware of them because the massive government subsidies make the technology appear profitable?

Things don't just have to be environmentally sustainable; they need to be economically sustainable. If California or the US in general started defaulting and couldn't pay contracted prices would these projects be able to survive by selling energy in competition with other sources?
bhiestand
5 / 5 (2) May 25, 2011
Does Google feel the project has overcome the massive technical issues against wind or is it just unaware of them because the massive government subsidies make the technology appear profitable?

Wind is fairly competitive compared to other energy sources. Since you bring up subsidies, care to tell us how it fairs against coal and nuclear if THOSE subsidies are removed as well?

No nuclear plants would exist in the US if the government didn't waive liability for nuclear accidents, subsidize development, fuel, and waste storage, guarantee loans, etc.
unknownorgin
4.7 / 5 (3) May 25, 2011
If there was no possibilty of profit millions would not be invested in solar and wind power. You dont see hundreds of millions spent cleaning up waste or helping some animals because there is no profit to be made. sail boats, wind mills and steam engines all made a profit because the energy was free or very cheap and solar power or wind power will be the next big step.

Na_Reth
5 / 5 (2) May 25, 2011
Wind is actually one of the best energy tech you can invest in. The windmills in that region probably pay off within 10 months.

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