Google to Build Six Additional Solar Plants



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I've had solar on my house for over ten years now; both photovoltaic and solar (water) heating. The house runs a regular 200amp service box.

Yet the solar electric alone paid for itself well within that first ten years and I continue to make money selling back to the grid.

Most houses of less than 2k sq ft could be made to run quite well from solar. Add to that, anyone who owns property could make money with it easier and faster than that ten year payback. The question is; why isn't everyone doing it?



"why isn't everyone doing it?"

Because not everyone lives in Arizona or California. Much of the rest of the country actually has weather, is cloudy much of the time, and has from 4-6 months of winter.

I live in Michigan, and the Great Lakes are a cloud factory. Solar power doesn't pay as well here, but hey, it rains a lot and we have LOTS of water, unlike Arizona and California (no earthquakes either).



Did I forget to mention I'm in Charleston. Seems to work quite well here. My system is easily capable of handling any outdoor temperature.

Plus most people seem to forget, solar works quite well and quite effectively regardless of level of sun versus clouds.

Better yet do some further research on your own. Solar made to work in any american state; lower forty eight, even Alaska. Able to handle extremes in places near Mt. Washington in New England. Also able to easily handle places like: throughout Maine, Seattle, etc... Able to handle most any btu load for either cooling, heating, and also either the wattage and/or amperage of any household.

Try showing me a single occupancy house where it would not work.



Here is an insolation map for the United States. Anything bright yellow or higher is viable for solar power production.



Muted yellow (4.0-4.5) works too, but the payoff is closer to 14 years.



I read that as, "Google to Build Six Additional Solar Planets"



They need more energy for their underground hive.



SSshh.. not so loud.. the Red Queen will hear you



So I don't know if there are any government subsidies being thrown around in this action Google is taking. If there isn't, then I applaud them for this action. If there is, well we just aren't there yet. We need to move on from burning oil and coal for energy. These resources are limited and we have known that from the beginning. Yet as a society we just continue on as if it will never end. If we can get renewable resources to the point where they are profitable, then things will be looking good. Not to mention far better for the environment.


Leo Scott

The article says 160mw but when you follow the link to Google's blog it's really 106mw. The simple facts as long as the government has to subsidize solar power it is not commercially viable yet. When it can be produced and installed profitably and provides power that saves businesses and homeowners money it won't need to be subsidized.


Renegade Knight

Solar is viable now. It's foot print is growing. At first it was things like calculators. Now you can get battery chargers, trickle chargers. We use solar powered signs in my job. It's also gaining traction in homes. The cost to connect power to rural homes is high. A lot of those go solar to save money.

Replacing the power company where they already have power? Not quite yet.



Good on Google... even if it's just something to throw in their asset pile for tax reasons.

IMO, throwing the responsibilities on large companies for our ever expanding and unlimited thirst for power-hungry luxuries is why true conversion to alternative/renewable resources will never happen... we just consistently demand more on a per capita basis, year after year.

If the companies make money selling us alternative energy resources, it's a good thing. However, take an older home, renovate it (which is more environmentally conscious than tearing it down and rebuilding it), and then do a cost comparison on the energy saved from a one time cost of uber insulation versus solar panels, a battery room, and replacing them as necessary. How about reducing the amount of power consumption devices we use? Sometimes the best solutions are the cheapest, low tech, old ideas out there.

Passive solar living spaces have been used for what, a thousand years? More? How many houses do you see built around this energy saving design? It's a one time cost so companies don't push it, and it's an old design philosophy so lacks the new, sexy, expensive appeal to the masses.



Just more pandering to the treehuggers. Out of that $60Bil., how much is gov't subsidies? Anybody know the life expectancy or upkeep of a solar farm as shown in the photo? Didn't think so.....



Entire US Solar Capacity is around 10,000 MWs on the high end.
US Wind Energy capacity is around 60,000 MWs.

Texas alone is pumping out over 12,000 MWs of wind power(most of any state by a long shot)...And by the end of December 2013 they'll flip the switch on a 18,500 MW bank. Totaling 30,500 Megawatts.

As a comparison Germany has the most solar capacity in the world with 30,000 MW...

Solar, you got some catching up to do son.



Or they could just build a nuclear powerplant that harnesses the advances made in safety and efficiency that have occurred in the many years since the construction of our last plant, perhaps using technology that is safer than the "conventional" methods now that the Cold War is over?

Isn't solar energy just nuclear energy when we get down to it?

Solar is still a helluva lot better than asinine wind and hydro though. I guess it is something...something dumber than nuclear/gas/coal, but something.