Google commits $103m to Silver Ridge solar

The tech company is investing approximately $103m in the Mt Signal Solar project, a utility-scale PV generating plant under construction in California.

The California-based technology company is making its 13th investment in renewable energy, committing approximately $103 million to Mount Signal Solar, a utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) generating plant under construction in the state’s Imperial County.

The project is being developed by Silver Ridge Power, a solar power company based in Arlington, Virginia, previously known as AES Solar.

The plant is expected to be operational in 2014 and will sell its output to the San Diego Gas & Electric Company under a long-term power purchase agreement, according to a joint statement issued by the two companies.

“We are on schedule to complete the project in 2014 and when completed it will be one of the largest single-axis tracker PV plants in the world,” said Silver Ridge Power chief executive Robert Hemphill.

For Google, the transaction brings its total investment in renewable energy to date to over $1 billion.

“Our investment in Mount Signal Solar is a reflection of Google’s ongoing commitment to the renewable energy industry and our strong belief that investing in renewable energy makes business sense,” Google’s head of corporate finance, Kojo Ako-Asare said.

The tech company has previously stated its long-term goal to power all its operations exclusively from renewable energy sources.

Silver Ridge Power develops, owns and operates utility-scale solar power plants. It has 522 megawatts in operation or construction in seven countries, including the US. The company was set up as a joint venture between the AES Corporation, a global power company, and Riverstone Holdings, an energy and power-focused private equity firm.

Based in New York and with offices in London and Houston, Riverstone was founded in 2000 with approximately $26 billion of equity capital raised across seven investment funds. It conducts buyout and growth capital investments in the exploration and production, midstream, oilfield services, power and renewable sectors of the energy industry.