US solar developer Recurrent Energy has announced that six PV plants totalling 106MWp capacity, funded by investors including Google, have begun commercial operation in California and Arizona.
Google and private equity investment firm KKR announced their investment in the Recurrent Energy plants in November last year, following a similar investment by the two firms in four California solar plants by Recurrent Energy in December 2011.
The search engine and internet services giant claims to have committed more than US$1 billion to date into renewable energy investments. KKR meanwhile formed SunTap, a new venture for investing in US solar projects.
According to Recurrent Energy, the six newest projects will provide enough electricity to power more than 17,000 homes and provided 500 jobs during their construction.
Five of the six are located in California, four in Kern County and one in Adelanto. The sixth is in Arizona’s Maricopa County. Zack Scrivner, of Kern County’s Board of Supervisors said the county was quickly becoming “the renewable energy centre for California”.
Google head of corporate finance Kojo Ako-Asare said: “At Google we believe that investing in renewable energy is good for business and good for the environment. We’re pleased that these facilities have come online, generating both energy and jobs for the local community.”
Sheldon Kimber, chief operating officer of Recurrent Energy, said the company placed a great deal of importance in engaging with local stakeholders to develop solar projects: “These six solar projects represent tremendous collaboration with county officials, the local communities, wildlife agencies and power utilities.”