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by Mike Zazaian October 17, 2006 - 1:22pm, 7 Comments

Google Headquarters at Mountain View, CA

In an effort to lead the solar power revolution by example, Google is building the country’s largest company-owned solar power infrastructure at their headquarters in Mountain View, CA.

The mostly rooftop-mounted panels will produce as much as 1.6 megawatts of energy, or approximately one one-thousandth of the energy required to send Michael J Fox. back to Hill Valley in 1952. At 1.6 megawatts, the system will produce approximately 30 percent of the total energy needed to run the Googleplex, a pet name for Google HQ. Said David Radcliffe, vice president of real estate at Google:

We wanted to dispel the myth that you can’t be both Green and profitable.

The effort isn’t the first corporate solar power solution, however, as Microsoft implemented a 2,288-panel system at its own Mountain View office earlier in the year. Microsoft’s system isn’t nearly as prolific as Google’s will be, however, as its 480 kilowatt peak capacity isn’t a third as much as the 1.6 megawatt output of Google’s system. In addition to rooftop installation, Google will use some of the 9,212 solar panels need for the project to build solar canopies over existing parking lots. Such use of the panels not only saves space on the Google campus, but additionally would shield employee automobiles from the harsh California sun.

Sharp Electronics, who will supply the panels needed for Google’s solar project, has its own 5.2 megawatt solar generation system at a factory in Kameyama, Japan. And while Sharp’s system marks the world’s largest implemented by a single corporate office, the title for world’s largest solar facility is held by a a station in Arnstein, Germany that maxes out 12 megawatts of output.

[via cnet]