Google Invests $280 Million in SolarCity Project Finance Fund

Google Inc. (GOOG) agreed to put $280 million in a new project financing fund for SolarCity Inc., a financier, installer and owner of rooftop photovoltaic systems, in the Internet search engine's biggest clean-energy investment. The deal with San Mateo, California-based SolarCity is also Google's first investment related to distributed solar energy, Rick Needham, the search engine's director of green business operations, said by telephone yesterday. The investment is a "quadruple-win" because it will enable more homeowners to lower their energy bills while also shifting to renewable energy, allow SolarCity to expand its business and facilitate wider deployment of solar, Needham said. Mountain View, California-based Google will also make a return on capital upfront, he said, since its investment is supported by the Treasury Department's cash grants program. As an alternative to tax credits, the program reimburses investors for 30 percent of project expenditures for solar. The program was created after the 2008 financial crisis to revive spending on clean energy. Projects must begin construction by the end of 2011 to be eligible.

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Questions on the increased load, the last coloum in the table. Dividing the increased load by the EVs = load/EV. From the data given Atlanta average load/EV=6kw/EV. This is very high. The Volt and 2012 Leaf can only charge at 3.3kw. (unless you have the option) To date over 80% charging has been @ 1.2kw level I. If you weighted Level II at a generous 40% of charging and at 3.3kw the projected load for Atlanta =: 11,200EVs(3.3) + 16,680EVs@(1.2) = 57 MW . If all EVs charge at the same time. Most EV charging takes place at night. A plasma TV can draw from 1 to 2kw. How many plasma TVs are there in Atlanta. 100, 200 thousand? (1.5kw)= 150 to 300MW load. Now of course very few plasma tvs draw that much, typical is around 200w. The question might be "How will Atlanta deal with an EV load that is one sixth the size of the plasma TV load. What assumptions (other than 50/50 Level I, II) led to this extremely high projection of increased load/EV in the tables? The average Atlanta driver goes 36 miles/day. At 6k level II that requires 1.5 hrs charge, level I 8hrs. (assuming consumption of 4m/kWh EV) There is a good case for charge controlling through charging networks or aggregators incentivizing daily commuters to charge Level I from 10pm to 6am by pre setting chargers. If 80% of the commuters charge at night (current figure) then 26 MW of EVSE load from 10pm to 6pm,(wind power's most productive time). The other 20% of EV charging if random and if at 6kw would be an additional 33MW load. So worst case under this scenario: EV load of 59MW. About 300% less than the table.

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