Google and SunEdison to develop new solar project on an old oil field

Google recently finalised an investment to install an 82MW solar power plant on top of an old oil and gas field in California.
Google and SunEdison to develop new solar project on an old oil field

The new installation will be located in California’s Kern County after Google signed a deal with solar company SunEdison. The Regulus solar plant will generate enough energy to power 10,000 homes and will be SunEdison’s largest developed and constructed project in North America. It is expected to begin operating later this year.  

The site was once the home of 30 oil wells but now there are only five as the oil resources were depleted. The solar project will be funded with the help of Google’s $145 million equity commitment and will bring 650 jobs to Kern County as well as feeding 82MW of clean solar energy into the grid via a 20-year power purchase agreement. Prudential Capital Group also provided financing for the project.

The structured financing arrangements were developed, designed and executed by SunEdison which will be responsible for construction of the plant itself. It will consist of over 248,000 SunEdison mono-crystalline solar PV modules.

California is committed to increasing the amount of energy it generates from renewable sources. The Kern County project is the latest of 17 renewable energy investments Google has made since 2010, including 5 in California.  

“We’re continually looking for newer, bigger and better projects that help us create a clean energy future” a company spokesperson said. “The more than $1.5 billion we’ve brought to these projects to date not only helps provide renewable energy to the grid and to the public, but as they perform, they allow us to invest in more renewable energy projects. This cycle makes financial sense for Google and our partners while supporting construction jobs in local communities and clean energy for the planet we share.”

Bob Powell, president, North America at SunEdison added that Regulus is a prime example of how the company’s end-to-end approach benefits everyone involved in a solar project.

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