Global Themes

On Globalization & Venture Capital

Solar “Trees” in Parking Lots…

Google Plants Solar Trees (from Wired). Neat and compelling…

…search giant Google joining other companies in planting groves of pole-mounted solar panels between the rows of Saabs and SUVs, generating clean power and providing a little shade at the same time.

Google’s Mountain View, California, headquarters is getting a 1.6-megawatt solar system — enough to power about 1,000 homes — that will feed about 30 percent of the complex’s power demand. About a third of the 9,000 solar panels Google’s installing will take the form of overhanging parking shades at the million-square-foot campus in Mountain View. The others will be mounted on rooftops.

Google hired Energy Innovations to design and build the project, which should be completed by spring.

 energy-innovations.jpg  Heres some more info about Energy Innovations

December 13th, 2006 Posted by | Miscellaneous | 2 comments


  1. Energy Innovations did design the installation, but they seem to be using standard Sharp Electronics silicon PV panels, and not their concentrator designs that EI are developing and trying to promote. (Sharp being the world’s #1 producer of PV panels for 6 years running)

    Speaking of Sharp, at Kameyama where they build their LCD panels, they have 47,000 square metres of PV panels on the roofs, for a total of 5.15MW of generation capacity.

    Interestingly, they say that is equivalent to the consumption of approximately 1,300 homes. That calculation is based on 4kW/home, which feels a little on the high side. I’ve got a 40A circuit breaker (@100V) in my apartment, and I’ve never had it go down on me yet… (tempting fate…. My old place had a 30A breaker, and that triggered on a few occasions, when I had a TV, an electrical room heater,the microwave, and a bunch of lights (plus assorted appliances) on all at the same time)

    However, given that it is unlikely that the installation is running anywhere near full output most of the time, 1300 homes is probably a good realistic number. Which would mean that Google’s assumption of 1000 homes on 1.6MW is optimistic.

    Sharp says the 5.1MW PV capacity translates to a CO2 emission reduction of 3400tonnes per annum. Good thing too, because manufacturing large silicon panels (be it LCD or PV) is an energy intensive process.

    Comment by fukumimi | December 14, 2006

  2. Wow, I had no idea of Kameyama’s capacity…I did suspect that the panels were from someone else though. Thanks.

    Comment by Shantanu Bhagwat | December 14, 2006

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