SolarCity infusion is Google’s largest yet
Google is giving a boost to the solar industry today – but not to those large solar farms in the California desert. Nope, the company’s largest clean energy investment to date is going to home solar.
Five years ago, SolarCity was a small, Bay Area start-up. Today, it’s getting a $280 million-dollar investment from one of the most influential players in the game.
“We are very excited,” says Lyndon Rive, CEO of SolarCity. “It’s a big vote of confidence in SolarCity as well as hopefully a big vote of confidence to the entire market.”
SolarCity’s business is built around installing and financing solar panels for its customers, sparing homeowners the steep up-front costs. That’s been helped recently by falling prices on solar panels.
Rive says the financing has largely been provided by banks thus far. But he’s hopeful Google’s move will bring more corporations into the mix. “If we want to see solar power truly get large-scale and get adoption across almost every home and every business, we need to see the corporations start investing into solar power,” he said.
Residential solar is a new focus for Google. In the past, the company has invested in large-scale wind and solar farms.
“We use energy to power our services and we want that energy to be as clean as possible,” says Parag Chokshi, a spokesperson for Google. He says the company sees small-scale solar as important part of the energy mix — and a good investment.
“We think that supporting the development of this sector will help all of these different technologies get down that cost curve to become cheaper and cheaper over time,”said Chokshi.
The investment will fund between 7,000 and 10,000 new solar installations across the country.