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Google to invest $94 million in solar power projects

Google Inc. is investing $94 million in solar panel farms in the Sacramento area.

The money will go toward four photovoltaic, or PV, panel farms built by Recurrent Energy, a San Francisco company owned by tech-giant Sharp Corp., along with funding from investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., said Axel Martinez, Google’s assistant treasurer, in a company blog post.

The investment pushes Google’s portfolio of clean-energy investments to more than $915 million, $880 million of which has been invested since January, Martinez said. Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, Recurrent and Google did not disclose how much Kohlberg Kravis Roberts was investing in the project.

“We’re already committed to providing funding this year to help more than 10,000 homeowners install solar PV panels on their rooftops,” he said. “But this investment represents our first investment in the U.S. in larger-scale solar PV power plants that generate energy for the grid — instead of on individual rooftops.”

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Martinez said the effort will produce about 88 megawatts of power, or enough for more than 13,000 homes.

The investment is the first partnership for Google and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, but it probably won’t be the last, he said.

“We believe investing in the renewable-energy sector makes business sense and hope clean-energy projects continue to attract new sources of capital to help the world move toward a more sustainable energy future,” Martinez said.

The power produced by the four solar farms will be bought by the Sacramento Municipal Utility District under a 20-year contract, he said.

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nathan.olivarezgiles@latimes.com


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