I got this information from Green Options. Search for “Largest corporate solar installation in the U.S.” and you’ll see Google pop up in the results. As of yesterday, the search engine giant became a lot less dependent on the grid by flipping the switch on nearly 9,212 solar panels. The output of more than 1.6 megawatts will serve up enough energy to power almost 1/3 of the campus. For some perspective, that’s enough energy to power more than 1,000 homes!
Michael dEstries at Green Options points out that Google not content, however, to simply let a few thousand solar panels represent their green values, Google also unveiled a new parking garage specifically designed for plug-in-electric vehicles and hybrid cars. Employees can now charge while at work and hit the road freshly juiced afterwards. “Wait a minute,” you say. “There aren’t any commercial plug-in cars available yet!” And you’re right. So, to address this issue, Google is also taking hybrid vehicles and converting them to plug-ins so that they can cruise along on only electricity for longer periods of time and at greater speeds. According to the article, they’ve so far converted four Toyota Prius and two Ford Escapes. Almost 100 such conversions are planned for employees to use as a car-share program while at work. Who are these guys?
Monday also marked the launch of Google’s new philanthropic division, RechargeIT. The group has earmarked $10 million for investments in companies and projects that support alternative transportation that reduces the use of fossil fuels and emissions. You can also visit the site to see how the plug-in cars that Google has converted are performing.
To say this is encouraging would be a bit of an understatement. Would the rest of the corporate U.S. please pay attention? The future of business sustainability lies in example at Google HQ. We applaud their efforts and hope such green initiative become contagious nationwide.