Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Google Founders are in a good company

There was a news article a few months back that mentioned Larry Page and Sergey Brin having invested in Nanosolar, a company that makes thin-film solar cells. I am not sure who is influencing whom, is it Vinod Khosla guiding these two or is it the other way round. Whichever way it is, it's a good development.

I have been a fan of PV (PhotoVoltaic) for a long time and Fuel Cells have caught my attention in the last 3-4 years. This is for the first time I am witnessing a sense of urgency in wealthy investors to get a fair share of these alternative energy producing device manufacturers.

But, at Google the developments are taking a different turn. It now has a position on its payroll that I have never hear of before; Corporate Environmental Programs Manager. Here's what Robyn Beavers, the Corporate Enviromental Programs Manager, at Google has to say:

Soon we plan to begin installation of 1.6 megawatts of solar
photovoltaic panels at our Mountain View campus. This project will be the
largest solar installation on any corporate campus in the U.S., and we think
it's one of the largest on any corporate site in the world. The panels will
cover the roofs of the four main buildings of the Googleplex, and also those of
two additional buildings across the street. There will also be a portion of this
installation on new solar panel support structures in a few parking lots. The
amount of electricity that will be generated is equivalent to powering about
1,000 average California homes. We’ll use that electricity to power several of
our Mountain View office facilities, offsetting approximately 30% of our peak
electricity consumption at those buildings.

So, what's new about it? Well, nothing except that this is yet another commitment for renewable energy and enviromental friendliness at a Google, one that will now directly affects thousands of educated employees at a prestigious center of technical excellence. The other thing to notice is the capacity of this installation, 1.6 MW.