Google has crossed over into Europe’s renewable energy sector by investing US$5 million in an 18.7MW solar power plant near Berlin, Germany. The search giant will work with German private equity company Capital Stage, which will sell 49% of the recently acquired plant to Google. This is the company’s first clean energy project investment this side of the pond.
Located in Brandenburg an der Havel, the plant covers 47 hectares (116 acres) of land and will provide solar energy to approximately 5,000 homes in the area. The two companies have agreed to jointly operate the plant.
“We are proud to have won, for the joint operation of the solar park Brandenburg, the confidence of our partner Google to who shares our positive assessment of future prospects of renewable energy,” said Felix Goedhart, CEO of Capital Stage.
“Google sees its participation as an important contribution to promoting climate-friendly energy – but also as a solid financial investment. This double dividend makes investments in renewable energy particularly attractive,” said Benjamin Kott, clean energy advocacy manager at Google.
The transaction still requires the formal approval of the German competition authorities, and is subject to other customary closing conditions.
Although this is Google’s first clean energy investment in Europe, the company previously backed renewable energy projects in the U.S. In total the Internet giant has invested approximately US$100 million in renewable energy projects in that region of the world.