- Internet behemoth Google has begun 2015 with two new investments in renewable energy, Forbes reports, bringing the tally so far to more than $1.5 billion spread across 19 separate deals.
- Google is part of a coalition of companies funding the 300-MW Balko Wind project in Beaver County, Okla.
- The company is also backing the 104-NW Red Hills solar plant in Utah to the tune of $157 million.
Google made headlines at the beginning of 2014 with its acquisition of smart home startup Nest, prompting many observers to wonder if the internet giant is becoming an energy company.
Now Google has begun 2015 with two significant renewable energy investments, building on a growing renewable portfolio that supports the company's push towards a clean, low carbon energy future.
Along with Bank of America Merrill Lynch and General Electric Capital, Google is backing Balko Wind, with Forbes reporting that the search engine giant's investment there will total $76 million. Once completed, Balko Wind will comprise 162 GE wind turbines and is expected to produce enough energy to power about 111,000 homes. D. E. Shaw Renewable Investments acquired the project from Apex Clean Energy with backing from the coalition. That deal was announced Jan. 12.
Less than a week before, Google revealed it was involved in financing the Red Hills solar power plant in Utah. When complete, the Red Hills solar project will be Scatec Solar's largest developed and constructed project in North America.
Total investment for the plant is estimated at $188 million—with Google providing tax equity, Prudential Capital Group providing debt financing, and Scatec Solar providing sponsor equity.